John Horgan says his decision to call for an election began to crystalize in the summertime when his minority government bumped into legislative challenges.
Speaking in North Vancouver on Tuesday, the leader of the NDP acknowledged there was “extraordinary co-operation” between Health Minister Adrian Dix and the opposition parties in relation to tackling COVID-19.
But he said “contempt” and “acrimony” between the parties would divert focus away from managing and recovering from the pandemic, and one of the best solution to “put the politics behind us” was to carry an election.
Globalnews.ca coverage of the B.C. election
“We want to make sure that the general public is with us and one of the simplest ways forward is a stable government,” he said.
Horgan assured voters that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has made it clear to him that the election set for Oct. 24 may be held safely.
“Our campaign and I assume other campaigns will probably be focused on ensuring that we’re staying in a line with the general public health orders that Dr. Henry has in place.”
B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has called for 3 televised debates in the course of the provincial election campaign so voters can hear what each party has to supply.
Voters need information and debates are one of the best solution to provide it in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilkinson said Tuesday.
He said voters have to hear his vision in addition to that of Horgan and Sonia Furstenau, leader of the Green party, on issues including employment, child care and addiction.
“We’re putting out the message to British Columbians that they need more information on this election. It’s a pandemic election and we’ve never done this before,” Wilkinson said, noting voters won’t have access to party leaders at large gatherings like in typical campaigns.
Horgan said he wouldn’t be involved in a call to carry the three debates, but he added he’s glad to check with people in any format that’s protected and allows a full “airing of the problems.”
Wilkinson began the primary day of the campaign by touting the Liberals’ candidates up to now, adding he expects to have a complete slate by the top of the week.
He highlighted transportation as a giant need in Surrey, the fastest-growing city within the province, and said those working within the trucking and taxi industries also need certainty about their jobs.
Wilkinson also accused the Latest Democrats of failing to deliver on education guarantees to do away with portable classrooms in Surrey schools.
He said the Liberal party expects to release its election platform in about every week, while Horgan said the NDP can be working on a platform that will probably be released prior to the election.
Wilkinson and Furstenau have criticized Horgan’s decision to call a snap election. A hard and fast election date had been set for October next yr.