B.C. leaders square off in TV debate

Christy Clark, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver battle it out ahead of the May 9 election

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark

B.C. party leaders squared off in their main TV debate of the provincial election campaign Wednesday.

B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark, NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver started with a series of questions on housing affordability.

Clark took aim at Horgan’s proposal to provide renters with a $400-a-year tax credit, and accused him of wanting to cancel her government’s program to offer second mortgages up to $37,500 with five years interest free.

The renters’ tax credit amounts to little more than a dollar a day, Clark said.

Horgan responded that the B.C. Liberals’ 15-per-cent foreign buyers’ tax has slowed the rise of prices in Metro Vancouver, but young people are still leaving B.C.

“They don’t want to live in a basement apartment, but that’s all they can find,” Horgan said.

Weaver defended his plan to double the foreign buyers’ tax for “mega-mansions” costing more than $1 million. He said his plan would make it easier to buy more modest homes, and Clark’s government has ignored high housing prices in Kelowna, Victoria and other B.C. urban areas.Horgan asked about temperIn a section on leadership, moderator Jennifer Burke put Horgan on the spot about his temper, asking him if he has an “anger management problem.”

Horgan said he is passionate about public service, and when he sees battles with teachers and children in care left to take their own lives, “I get angry.”

Weaver challenged Horgan about being a “career politician” who has spent 16 years in opposition, saying no to the B.C. Liberals. In a heated exchange that followed, Weaver asked, “are you going to lose your temper on me now, Mr. Horgan, because you did last week.”

Clark ducked questions about big donations received by her party, referring to the province’s record on job creation. Horgan said he has moved six times to ban “big money” from B.C. politics, and would do so immediately if he forms government.MSP a hot topic

Horgan and Weaver clashed over their plans to eliminate Medical Services Plan premiums. The Green platform calls for MSP to shift to income taxes, and Weaver accused Horgan of having “a plan to have a plan” with different claims about how Canada’s only medical service charges would be eliminated.

Horgan replied that he has been “crystal clear from the start.” He will match the B.C. Liberals’ promise to cut MSP premiums by half in January 2018, and eliminate the rest of it by the end of a four-year term in government.

Clark said the NDP will also move the burden of MSP premiums onto other taxes. Horgan noted that the B.C. Liberal government raised MSP premiums every year until they were doubled, and promised to cut them on the eve of an election.Clark goes after NDP health spending recordOn health care and surgical waiting lists, Horgan promoted his plan to develop urgent care centres that he said will take pressure off emergency wards.

Clark shot back that during the 1990s, the NDP government didn’t add a single doctor training space, closed hospitals and laid off nurses, because they ran out of money to provide services.

Weaver said his approach is not to throw money at a top-down system, but to develop community care that would keep more people out of hospital.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

High water and flooding hits Clearwater

Potential for roadblock on Clearwater Valley Road due to potential washouts

Tk’emlups, Simpcw First Nations chiefs call on Tiny House Warriors to leave Blue River protest camp

“The Tiny House Warriors are not from Simpcw, nor are they our guests in our territory.”

TOTA recognized as Safe Travel Destination

Announcement confirms successful effort by communities to follow new health guidelines

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Most Read