Thursday October 15, 2020 | VICTORIA & VANCOUVER [last update 10:30 am October 17]
Election campaign coverage by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
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Thursday October 15 is Day 24(*) 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 (for seven days) 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.
- CKNW Leaders Debate was today October 15 at 10 am. The argumentative bickering between candidates — in many cases acusatory to goad a reaction — is probably not appealing to the average listener.
- Town halls and All Candidates Meetings are posted on the Island Social Trends Events page.
BC NDP: At 10 am, BC NDP leader John Horgan (candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca) took part in a leaders debate on CKNW. He continued to position himself as the leader of the government (that he technically is, until the results of the election are known), and as someone who is not only relatable to British Columbians but whose policies will serve the broadest range of residents of the province. Health care, education, and a capital plan to build the infrastructure that is needed is part of the BC NDP recovery program, said Horgan today.
Horgan today asked Wilkinson about making tax breaks a priority and to answer for the deliberate loss of 10,000 jobs (due to BC Liberal government choices) in the public and health care sectors in 2001, mostly women.
Horgan said the speculation tax has brought in $120 million which collects money from less than one percent of British Columbians. Now 11,000 condo units are available for renters that were not available prior to the speculation tax being implemented by the BC NDP, which has helped with the availability of accommodation for people who (in many cases) cannot afford to buy a home.
BC NDP: Saanich South candidate Lana Popham participated in an All Candidates meeting online today (sponsored by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce). On the topic of child care she said that the BC NDP in the last few years have supported over 32,000 child care spaces at $10/day (that includes 200 spaces in Saanich South).
On the issue of amalgamation (brought up by the Chamber), Popham said it’s been discussed in the Greater Victoria area for as long as she has been in politics. She noted how firefighters work inter-municipally. “There are actions we can take make our area work more regionally,” said Popham who has served as the Agriculture Minster under John Horgan during 2017-2020.
On the topic of mental health and addiction, Popham said the opioid, mental health and homelessness crisis are all tied together. The Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction was started under the NDP in 2017. Prevention is key to some of the issues we’re seeing on the street. “Over the summer we tried to bring in legislation (to provide medical support for youth who have overdosed), but the Green Party did not allow that to go through,” said Popham. NDP Leader John Horgan on September 21 said that was his tipping point for deciding an election was necessary (aiming for a majority government so that the NDP does not have to rely on the Greens quite so much in order to get legislation passed).
From 7 to 8:30 pm BC NDP candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca, John Horgan, was represented this evening by Mitzi Dean who participated in an All Candidates meeting (via Zoom) regarding issues in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding which includes Sooke.
BC NDP candidates Bob D’Eith, Lisa Beare and Pam Alexis joined BC NDP Leader John Horgan for an announcement in Pitt Meadows about how life will be made more affordable for people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows under a re-elected BC NDP government.
BC Liberal: At 10 am, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson took part in a leaders debate on CKNW. There was not a lot of new information, but it was a good review for anyone who hadn’t already tuned in to election campaign issues. He said the PST is a way to get people back into the economy and support small business; he said 98% of employment happens in small business. He tried to build political bridges with the BC Green leader as a way to pit them both against the NDP.
Wilkinson repeatedly tried to portray the NDP leader as not telling the truth (even though Wilkinson was the one who made up untruths, for example about denying that MSP premiums doubled under the BC Liberals), but upheld a newspaper article over the word of the NDP leader during the debate. It’s that sort of word-trickery that turns people off about politics.
Wilkinson also repeated his medical background, trying to play on the respect that is generally afforded to medical doctors.
At 2:30 pm Wilkinson held a media availability in Coquitlam along with Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Joan Isaacs. In a news release afterward, the BC Liberals are saying that “school boards are in danger of having to cut staff and services” during the pandemic. [Editor’s note: School districts are in charge of their own budgets.] While Wilkinson is quoted as saying that the NDP are “clawing back money from schools”, that is technically not the case; per-pupil funding was maintained (per Ministry of Education, September 10, 2020).
At 2:40 pm the BC Liberal Party released a statement saying that Laurie Throness has stepped down from running in the upcoming provincial election as the candidate for Chilliwack-Hope.
- This comes following Throness making comments characterizing BC NDP’s pledge to provide free contraception to women in BC as an effort to prevent lower-income people from having children. Liberal Leader Wilkinson said that the comments made by Throness were not in keeping with party values. “I’ve accepted his resignation — we’ll move forward without him,” said Wilkinson, forfeiting at least one potential BC Liberal seat in the BC Legislative Assembly. “It’s critical that we all understand that access to contraception is a critical issue in our society.”
- There has been no similar expectation of resignation heard, so far, as to the sexism directed at an NDP candidate by BC Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite.
From 7 to 8:30 pm BC Liberal candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca, Kelly Darwin, this evening participated in a Zoom-call All Candidates meeting for that riding which includes Sooke.
BC Green: BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau participated in a leaders debate hosted by CKNW radio, at 10 am. She played into the BC Liberal leader’s ploy to try and align the Greens with the BC Liberals, as a force against the NDP.
She claimed that the Site C project — if cancelled — would save $160 million for the province each year.
When asked why her candidates are not as diverse as she claims her party is or will be in the legislature, Furstenau clearly articulated that a snap election was the problem. “A snap election is hard on democracy… it privileges privileged people.” She said that people of colour, women, and indigenous people told her they were unable to put their lives on hold on a moment’s notice.
The BC Green leader released the full BC Green platform yesterday.
The BC Green leader held media availability at 1:15 pm.
From 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm Furstenau participated in the Organizing for Change debate on climate and the environment.
From 7 to 8:30 pm BC Green candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca, Gord Baird, participated in an All Candidates meeting via Zoom for that riding.
Communist Party: This evening from 7 to 8:30 pm Tyson Strandlund — candidate for the Communist Party in Langford-Juan de Fuca, participated in an online All Candidates meeting for that riding (which includes Sooke).
Inside notes and editorial about the election results after October 24 will be made available to paying subscribers. | How to subscribe: call 250-217-5821 to request an invoice and pay by credit card, or email your billing request to firstname.lastname@example.org (and pay by e-transfer) | Subscription info: www.islandsocialtrends.com/subscribe-2