Jobs, ed­u­ca­tion are fea­ture is­sues on Bri­tish Columbia cam­paign trail

Truro Daily News - - CANADA -

New Demo­crat Leader John Hor­gan says he’s not wor­ried about Christy Clark’s B.C. Lib­er­als at­tack­ing the eco­nomics of his cam­paign plat­form, which con­tains big prom­ises in­clud­ing $10-a-day child care and elim­i­nat­ing bridge tolls.

The Lib­er­als’ Michael de Jong, the fi­nance min­is­ter in Clark’s gov­ern­ment, is set to of­fer a “de­tailed up­date” on the cost­ing of the NDP plat­form.

But Hor­gan says his num­bers are solid and based on Min­istry of Fi­nance num­bers tabled in Fe­bru­ary.

He cam­paigned Wed­nes­day at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia in Van­cou­ver, where he pro­moted his plan to elim­i­nate in­ter­est on stu­dent loans and of­fer a $1,000 com­ple­tion grant to peo­ple who fin­ish their stud­ies.

Hor­gan says if his party is elected May 9, it will also elim­i­nate fees for adult ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion and English as a sec­ond lan­guage pro­grams while main­tain­ing a cap on tu­ition fees at col­leges and univer­si­ties.

“I’m go­ing to make sure that stu­dents don’t have crip­pling debt when they fin­ish their ed­u­ca­tion and that they can be full par­tic­i­pants in the econ­omy and make B.C. bet­ter,” he said.

Only about 48 per cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers aged 18 to 24 cast a bal­lot in 2013, but some cam­pus groups are try­ing to boost turnout this time, in­clud­ing a group called Young Cli­mate Vot­ers that is urg­ing stu­dents to elect cli­mate lead­ers.

Clark cam­paigned in the Van­cou­ver area as well, telling an event in Sur­rey with Lib­eral can­di­dates that the Site C dam is nec­es­sary for the prov­ince’s eco­nomic well be­ing.

It was the sec­ond straight day that Clark high­lighted the $8.8-bil­lion hy­dro­elec­tric project af­ter she vis­ited Fort St. John on Tues­day to tout con­struc­tion jobs it has cre­ated.

“To­day in Bri­tish Columbia we are lead­ing the coun­try in job cre­ation, we are lead­ing the coun­try in eco­nomic growth,” said Clark, who was wear­ing a blue hard hat.

She ac­cused the NDP of re­leas­ing a plat­form that will cost bil­lions, with no way to pay for it.

“Their plat­form cre­ates not a hole in our bud­get, it is a crater, a gi­ant, smok­ing crater of a hole to the tune of bil­lions of dol­lars that they are go­ing to fill with your money in the form of new taxes,” she said.

Green Leader An­drew Weaver cam­paigned in Kam­loops on Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter the party missed its mark of run­ning a can­di­date in all 87 provin­cial rid­ings.

Party spokesman Ste­fan Jon­s­son says the Greens had 80 can­di­dates of­fi­cially ap­proved by Elec­tions BC ahead of a Tues­day af­ter­noon reg­is­tra­tion dead­line and were wait­ing to hear back on the el­i­gi­bil­ity of up to three more.

CP PHOTO

B.C. Lib­eral Leader Christy Clark makes a cam­paign stop at In­land Con­crete in Fort St. John, B.C.

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