Quicker than you can say by-election you’ll be seeing signs everywhere for the candidates. Premier Christy Clark called the by-elections yesterday for Chilliwack-Hope and Port Moody-Coquitlam. In our neck of the woods, Laurie Throness is running for the Liberals, Gwen O’Mahony for the NDP, and John Martin for the BC Conservatives.
Throness says the byelection comes down to choice.
“Voters of Chilliwack-Hope have a choice about whether to continue to support the BC Liberal government which has maintained a very vibrant, strong economy for over a decade….or to switch and go with the NDP, which have a very different agenda; we believe it’s a high tax and a high deficit, spending agenda.”
Throness says he’s been in campaign mode for weeks, but plans to intensify everything he’s doing.
O’Mahony says the Liberals have already run attack ads accusing leader Adrian Dix of not having an economic plan, something she says simply isn’t the case.
“He’s made the promise to invest in post-secondary education and skills training, and how are we going to pay for that? He’s made it very clear. Our taxation has been out there and in the open. Restoring the bank tax is an option, then there is the discussion of course, of rolling back corporate tax rates.”
She says the main three issues facing the community are affordability of living expenses, health care, and availability of well paying jobs.
Martin says one of the big issues here and in the rest of the province is how expensive it is to live in BC.
“We pay more in taxes overall, than any family west of Quebec. And when you start looking at ICBC rates, medical premium rates, the carbon tax that nobody else has to pay….it’s just getting tougher and tougher for people to make ends meet.”
Martin says he will also fight to stop any waste to energy incinerator from coming in, saying air quality is a big part of quality of life in the Valley.
For her part, the Premier is definitely concerned about vote splitting, and yesterday took a shot at the BC Conservatives in the Port Moody riding, who she says are only trying to play spoiler, because they’re running a candidate who’s principal qualification is that she has the same name (Christine Clark). She says people in these ridings could be sorely disappointed if too many votes go to the Conservative Party, at the expense of the Liberals.
“I think we do have to be concerned about that. We have always had what we call a ‘free enterprise’ coalition. There are two parties that we’ve traditionally had. One that cares about enabling a thriving private sector economy, and one that cares about creating more government jobs.”
Voters will head to the polls on April 19th.