In the first leader's debate of the 2017 British Columbia provincial election, B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark and NDP Leader John Horgan sparred early and often on issues ranging from housing to the fentanyl crisis to tolls.
She also attacked Horgan over the cost of his platform, repeating her party's new line of attack that the NDP is papering over a $6-billion hole and repeatedly bringing up the NDP government of the 1990s.
The BC NDP will build urgent care centres to improve access for people to front-line health care providers, says BC NDP leader John Horgan.
Weaver says shifting B.C.'s health-care focus from acute care to wellness and preventative care, along with his party's other measures, will make health services more accessible and affordable.
BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, in contrast, has been sitting politely and waiting for his turn.
In response to the allegations from other political parties and stakeholders that the Liberal government hadn't done its due diligence for this project, Clark said "the NDP would like to study things forever". "These are tax dollars that have been put into a pot by hard-working British Columbians and they want a government that's going to make choices that benefit their lives". Clark also accused the NDP of planning to roll medical services plan premiums into the tax system and to nearly double the carbon tax, which Horgan denied.
Weaver said his party would ease rising housing costs in Metro Vancouver by doubling a tax on foreign buyers to 30 per cent.
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"People who need help will get it faster, and it will relieve the pressure on emergency rooms", says Horgan. The Liberal leader says the BC Hydro project under construction on the Peace River will mean clean energy and employment for the province. It was a departure from the positive, take-the-high-road approach adopted by Horgan's predecessor in the last election, which the New Democrats lost despite a large lead in the polls at the campaign's outset.
But Clark said a re-elected Liberal government would approve no new taxes for TransLink without the consent of all B.C. voters.
On the Site C dam, Horgan has vowed to review the project, while Weaver said the Green Party would halt the project.
The NDP would also appoint a minister of mental health and addictions to advocate for change at the cabinet table, Horgan said.
Clark said shutting down the project would hurt the province.
"[Clark] promised unicorns in everyone's backyards", said Weaver.
Clark told reporters she and Horgan were colleagues in the B.C. legislature. They didn't say where the money would come from; they didn't say for how long. "I think most people would rather have their local craft beer".