BC party leaders to stake out positions in first election campaign debate

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As I said in an earlier column, voters should be wary of the NDP's promise to deliver so many expensive new programs and initiatives and still balance the budget.

It said B.C.'s illegal marijuana market provides 40 per cent of Canada's black market and is worth $2.7 billion, with 85 per cent of that going to organized crime.

Clark went on to say, "I know this is going to be an ugly, mean, dirty campaign that's what the NDP have promised us again and again".

"Yesterday your finance minster made an embarrassment of himself", cut back Horgan, referencing a press conference in which Mike de Jong was challenged for his estimates on the Liberal platform.

But I don't think the NDP particularly care whether anyone thinks their plan will result in balanced budgets or not. "Life does not become more affordable when you double the carbon tax, Mr. Horgan and when you roll MSP into income tax".

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In one of his sharpest points, however, he noted that the Liberals had governed for 16 years and the NDP failed, those same 16 years, to remove them, creating an opening for a fresh Green approach to politics.

The NDP's platform calls for $7-billion in additional borrowing, but James said that will only raise the debt-to-GDP ratio by one per cent over five years.

Ms. Clark also defended such controversial megaprojects as the proposed Massey tunnel replacement bridge linking Richmond and Delta - a project Mr. Horgan is skeptical about - and the Site C hydro project in northern B.C. Mr. Horgan has said he would send the project to the B.C. Utilities Commission for a review that would determine its fate and Mr. Weaver says it should be scrapped.

The new numbers released in the latest Mainstreet/Postmedia poll show among decided and leaning voters, the BC Liberals are up two points to 37 per cent, the NDP is flat at 39 per cent, and the Greens are up two points at 21 per cent.

Clark defended her proposal to put a $500 annual cap on road tolls paid to use the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridge.

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The NDP is looking at investing (borrowing) an additional $7 billion over now budgeted capital allocations over five years ($1.4 billion per year) starting in 2018.

NDP Leader John Horgan was in the Lower Mainland yesterday, saying his party would create team-based urgent care centres to help people who can't find family doctors. "They're exhausted of hearing the same old storylines from the B.C. Liberals".

NDP Leader John Horgan campaigned Wednesday at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he promoted his plan to eliminate interest on student loans and offer a $1,000 completion grant to people who finish their studies.

Victoria-Swan Lake Green candidate Chris Maxwell said his party would "probably move to have them licensed".

"Certainly we'll leave it up to school boards to decide how they spend this money". "There's a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered before we decide on a model for the distribution of cannabis in British Columbia".

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