Sunday October 18, 2020 | VICTORIA & VANCOUVER [Last update 10:10 pm]
Election campaign coverage by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
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Sunday October 18 is Day 27(*) on the Election BC campaign trail (*calling September 21 as Day 1, the day the election was called).
- The Provincial General Election Day is on Saturday October 24. Advance voting (October 15 to 21) and voting-by-mail are available. Elections BC info. | See which ridings have the highest number of mail-in ballot requests.
- Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which requires physical distancing, most campaign activities are done remotely online, both for the media and the voter audiences.
- Town halls and All Candidates Meetings are posted on the Island Social Trends Events page.
BC NDP: During an announcement and campaign visit in Campbell River this morning, at 9:30 am in the north Vancouver Island town, BC NDP Leader John Horgan said a re-elected BC NDP government would work to double (in partnership with the federal government) the current $143 million BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.
He and other speakers articulated the importance of salmon to the culture and economy of BC as well as being an integral part of Indigenous activities, history and spiritual connection with the land.
Horgan said he and a re-elected BC NDP government would work to protect BC wild salmon by supporting innovation in fish hatcheries, working to process more BC-caught fish in BC, stepping up protection of fish habitat through the government’s biodiversity strategy, creating a watershed security strategy, and establishing a Wastershed Security Fund to fund indigenous and local initiatives.
Horgan was joined today in Campbell River by North Island BC NDP candidate Michele Babchuk.
Then he will make campaign stops in Courtenay, Parksville and Duncan.
On Monday October 18, the BC NDP Leader will be casting his vote in his home riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca.
Meanwhile, in social media today, John Horgan reposted a photo of anti-mask protesters marching in Vancouver (who feel that governments have overstepped with mask-wearing policies, physical distancing, and lockdowns), with a link to an October 17, 2020 CTV news item about the protest.
BC Liberal: Today BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson addressed media at 1:25 pm. He highlighted a BC Liberal commitment to “significantly expand high-speed internet and mobile coverage for rural BC communities”. There are currently BC government programs and funding in place toward that goal (including $90 million announced by the BC NDP on September 21, 2020). Today Wilkinson said the BC Liberals would make a $100 million investment over five years for the expansion, so it’s not much or a difference.
BC Green: BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau released the full BC Green platform earlier this week.
Today October 18 Furstenau addressed media at 12:30 pm. She spoke again about affordable accommodation be available to everyone. The current government already has in place two rental programs called RAP (Rental Assistance Program) and SAFER (Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters), so Island Social Trends asked Furstenau about her proposal for a “means-tested rental housing grant” and how that would be any different. She differentiated by saying that RAP is for families with children, but that Greens would also push for that to include single young adults whose cost for rent is over 30% of their income. That would allow more young people to live affordably and perhaps be able to save up to buy a home. “Young single people are also struggling with affordability, not only families,” she said. This does show evidence of thinking through the current system and proposing ways to produce a more fair playing field for more people.
Furstenau answered Island Social Trends’ question about how government- assisted affordable housing can help people without getting them entrenched in a scenario that they can’t emerge from. She said the system should have “the capacity to provide support when needed… to ensure that people don’t get entrenched in poverty”. She says that government “needs to do things differently, to get a different result”.
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