‘NDP Idol’ contest aims for youth vote

NDP leadership candidates (from left) Dana Larsen

About 400 NDP supporters packed a Victoria high school gym Thursday night to hear pitches from the five candidates for the party leadership.

There were few major policy differences in the latest of a series of debates that Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons referred to as “NDP Idol.” The theme of the Victoria stop was youth, and most contenders offered help for post-secondary students with grants and low-interest or interest-free loans.

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth said the government can create job opportunities for young people by emphasizing apprenticeships for government construction contracts, instead of going to low bidders who may be from outside B.C. Young people can be hired to plant trees, restore stream habitat and clear brush that is a fire hazard around many B.C. communities, he said.

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix advocated “environmental youth teams” to do similar work. Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan cited a T’Sou-ke Nation employment program where young people learned new skills by installing solar panels on the Vancouver Island band’s buildings as well as upgrading park trails and planting trees.

Dix also advocated union membership for part-time workers so they have a way to enforce labour code regulations such as two-hour call-out pay for work on short notice. The B.C. government has only one employment standards officer west of Kelowna, based in Nelson, and enforcement is inadequate, he said.

Simons referred to his experience as a child protection social worker, and stressed the need for places for young people to go if they can’t stay at home. Youth need options to work out conflicts that don’t trigger a full investigation of their families, he said.

Marijuana activist Dana Larsen, the only non-MLA running for the NDP leadership, called for more spending on social housing and education, financed in part by a new tax bracket for people making $250,000 a year or more.

“We can build homes and schools now, or we can build prisons later,” Larsen said.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Tourism Chilliwack reveals beautiful new brand

Awe-inspiring video was unveiled before hundreds of ommunity partners Tuesday

Retirement after owning Main Street Barber Shop for 38 years

Phil and Trudi are looking forward to travelling and spending time with family

Faulty wiring blamed for Chilliwack barn fire Sunday morning

One civilian injured attempting to extinguish blaze on Ballam Road

GW Graham seniors bow out of football playoffs as juniors move on

The senior Grizzlies fell to the John Barsby Bulldogs in a AA playoff game last Saturday.

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema leads Canada to FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter-finals

Canada has gone 2-0 in the tournament with wins over Colombia and the Korean Republic.

VIDEO: Two officers of B.C. Legislature escorted out amid investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read