Rob Shaw: BC NDP kick off early pre-election campaign

Rob Shaw: BC NDP kick off early pre-election campaign

The BC NDP held its first re-election campaign event Thursday, kickstarting a 120-day countdown to the October election and test-driving some of the themes it will be using to try and stay in power.

The tagline at the party event in Surrey was “What’s at stake,” a theme NDP leader David Eby drove home repeatedly when describing the need for another term to continue what he described as progress in housing, healthcare, ICBC and affordability.

Eby accused BC United of wanting to cut back services, and the BC Conservatives of being extremists who would make a mess of files like healthcare and housing.

“So much is on the line for this election, and I know you feel it,” said Eby.

“We’re going to work together, and we’re going to build an amazing province and we’re going to take on those challenges by bringing people together, not by driving them apart, not by picking on different groups.

“We’re going to bring people together to solve these problems by standing up to the bullies and by ensuring that this province continues to prosper, that people can build a good life here.”

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Meanwhile, BC United leader Kevin Falcon laid out his framework for economic development, saying he will reverse the NDP’s record $8 billion provincial deficit, balance the province’s books within his first term, hold future government spending to the rate of inflation and not introduce any new tax measures.

“Today is a day where we start to ignite the spark of hope in young people in British Columbia,” he said. “And know this, that we will be relentless, we will be relentless in reducing costs for families, we will be relentless in being responsible and being fiscally responsible for the public’s dollars.

“We will make sure that we focus the money we do spend on results and outcomes.”

United’s attempt to backstop its economic policies came as BC Conservative leader John Rustad spoke to the Vancouver Board of Trade, in a bid to lure the anti-NDP business community away from United and towards his campaign.

The BC Greens did not have any campaign events Thursday.

Rob ShawRob Shaw

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