Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

John Horgan announces how BC NDP will pay for its platform

- Clark criticized the NDP's announced rental subsidy plan, saying it could line the pockets of wealthy tenants who may live in penthouses in downtown Vancouver.

A fund of $500 million earmarked for the development of the liquefied natural gas industry, which Horgan called Premier Christy Clark's "fantasy fund", will be used instead over three years to eliminate tolls on two of the Lower Mainland's busiest bridges.

The NDP says it will phase out medical service premiums and eliminate interest on student loans if it wins the May 9 election. NDP Leader John Horgan said an NDP government would deliver a $108 million surplus in their first budget year.

"The challenge with the Pattullo Bridge is we need to make decisions probably by the end of this year regarding the replacement, and the previous plan included half the funding of that new bridge to be covered by tolls", he said. Starting this year, the NDP would also increase all income assistance rates by $100 a month, and increase the earnings exemption by $200 a month.

"The spending that is being proposed here will either lead to massive deficits or massive tax increases, or maybe a combination of the two", he said.

The NDP also says it will cut waste from the current budget and that- combined with an increase in revenue based on higher GDP growth than the Liberals are forecasting - will allow for the budget to be balanced.

De Jong called the New Democrats' plan "misleading in the extreme" and said British Columbia would no longer be Canada's leading economy. "In year one we're going to do that, in year two and three we have to see what the Liberals have left behind us, it's fully costed". "It's nearly platform by camouflage".

Horgan said their platform will create 96,000 jobs through investments in schools, hospitals, transit and infrastructure.

Horgan also noted an NDP focus on public education, citing the back-and-forth battle on school closures in Penticton and the South Okanagan.

The party unveiled details at an event in Coquitlam, B.C. Thursday morning.

- Rachel Notley says it would be hard for anybody who works for her government to support candidates that oppose the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a project she described as crucial to Alberta's interests.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark speaks to candidates and supporters at the Elk Lake boathouse in Saanich, B.C., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Clark supports the pipeline project, while Horgan has said it can't go forward.

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