B.C. party leaders enter final week of election campaign

VANCOUVER —
The leaders of British Columbia’s main political parties have kicked off their final week of campaigning before the election set for next Saturday.

During a campaign stop in Metchosin on Vancouver Island, Green Leader Sonia Furstenau took aim at both the NDP and the Liberals’ forestry policies.

“Over the last 3.5 years, the cutting of old growth has continued as fast as it did under the B.C. Liberals,” she said, reading from the party’s platform.

Furstenau reiterated the Greens’ commitment to fully implementing the recommendations of the provincially appointed review panel on managing old growth forests, promising to work in partnership with First Nations and to put an immediate stop to old growth logging in high risk ecosystems.

“We cannot continue to liquidate our natural resources for the benefit of shareholders of massive corporations while continuing to shed local jobs in communities across B.C. as mills close.”

Furstenau, who is running for re-election in Cowichan Valley, was joined by south island candidates Andy MacKinnon and Gord Baird.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson also took his campaign to Vancouver Island, where he visited Campbell River. He was joined by North and Mid-Island candidates Helen Poon and Norm Facey.

New Democrat incumbents Clair Trevena and Scott Fraser are not seeking re-election, heating up competition in the two ridings.

Wilkinson accused Trevena of doing nothing to support forestry communities during an eight-month long strike that ended in February.

“There’s a very strong sense here of being fed up with the NDP,” he said. “We can address that because we’re proud of the forest industry and we will support them on the island and throughout British Columbia.”

Meanwhile, NDP leader John Horgan started the day in Kamloops, where he discussed the party’s plans for a new cancer treatment centre in the city.

He said the centre is part of the party’s proposed 10-year cancer treatment plan that would receive $450 million in funding in the first three years.

It would “not just be doing treatment, in terms of chemotherapy and radiation, but it’ll also be there for diagnostics and other genetic work that will be transformative,” he said.

Horgan promised the services would be delivered within the mandate of the next government if the NDP is re-elected next Saturday.

He was joined in Kamloops by Anna Thomas, Sadie Thomas and Aaron Sumexheltza before making stops in Merritt, Penticton and Oliver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2020.

This post first appeared on Here