B.C. election: Key developments from Day Seven on the campaign trail

B.C. election: Key developments from Day Seven

VANCOUVER — A look at some key developments from Day Seven of the B.C. election campaign for each of the parties:

NDP:

— Leader John Horgan promised at a campaign stop in Burnaby to build urgent-care centres to address the province’s family doctor shortage and ease pressure on walk-in clinics and emergency rooms.

— The centres would be open evenings and weekends and use a team-based approach, meaning patients would access the care provider that fits their needs, whether it’s a doctor, nurse practitioner, counsellor or dietician.

— But the promise didn’t include a proposed number of centres or a cost estimate. Horgan said an NDP government would shift priorities to make room in the existing health budget.

— He criticized the B.C. Liberals’ “GP for Me” program, saying party Leader Christy Clark promised more doctors, then “finally gave up two years ago when they knew they weren’t going to meet their targets.”

— Horgan later stopped in Coquitlam, where he reiterated pledges to re-open facilities at Riverview Hospital to provide residential care to those who need it, as well as create a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

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LIBERALS:

— Clark campaigned in Campbell River, highlighting her government’s record in helping business and said the Liberals have a plan to phase out provincial sales tax on electricity, saving businesses $160 million a year.

— Clark said the Liberal government has a successful economic record on Vancouver Island, which is typically an NDP stronghold.  

— She said the unemployment rate on the north island is half of what it was under the last NDP government before the Liberals came to power in 2001.

— Naomi Yamamoto, the Liberal candidate for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, posted on social media that one of her signs had been defaced with a spray-painted swastika. The NDP candidate in the riding has also posted a photo of her sign with a red swastika painted on it. Candidates on all sides condemned the graffiti.

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GREENS:

— Leader Andrew Weaver unveiled his party’s democratic reform platform, which includes switching to a proportional representation electoral system.

— Weaver promised to establish a public watchdog to oversee government advertising and communications; block cabinet ministers from engaging in partisan fundraising; ban corporate, union and out-of-province donations; and place limits on individual contributions.

— He reminded voters that his party banned corporate and union donations in September, while the Liberals and NDP still allow them. The New Democrats have promised to ban them if elected while the Liberals would convene a panel to review campaign financing.

— Weaver said the Greens would also establish a provincial budget officer to provide independent analysis to the legislature on the state of the province’s finances, the government’s estimates and economic trends.

The Canadian Press