B.C. election campaign officially kicks off


WATCH:  Battle lines are drawn as B.C. election campaign officially kicks off. Tess van Straaten reports. 

Premier Christy Clark was all smiles as she arrived at Government House Tuesday morning to meet with the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve the legislature.

There were no babies to kiss but Clark got some smooches from a neighbourhood dog before officially launching British Columbia’s 41 st provincial election campaign.

“We’re the only party with a plan to cut taxes, control spending and create jobs for people,” Clark told reporters. “Our plan is costed and paid for and it will mean people don’t end up with higher taxes.”

NDP leader John Horgan kicked things off with a special campaign event in Vancouver.

“For the past 16 years, B.C. Liberal choices have made it harder for you ? harder for your families and harder for your communities,” Horgan said.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver was also in Vancouver and used day one to unveil the party’s bold affordable housing strategy.

“I’m excited, I’m really excited to launch the B.C. Green campaign,” Weaver said. “Ultimately, this election will boil down to one thing – do people think they’re being served by the same tired choice between the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP?”

Whether the Greens can make a critical breakthrough remains to be seen.

But experts say this election could come down to the all-important leaders’ debate, especially for Horgan, who isn’t yet a household name.

“This first few weeks will be the ground war ? campaigning, canvassing, door knocking,” UVic political science professor Michael Prince told CHEK News. “But the big event will be that televised leadership debate, certainly for John Horgan that will be a critical event.”

With the Liberals making a splash at Elk Lake with South Island candidates on kick-off day, the party’s first-ever Vancouver Island platform, and all the expensive promises the NDP is making, it’s shaping up to be a contentious campaign.

“This is going to be an interesting issue,” Prince says. “Is there an appetite for tax increases in this province? If there isn’t, the NDP are going to be challenged on it.”

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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