Fixing affordability, assisting with daycare to help working parents, reducing crime and helping seniors with housing are among key pledges in the B.C. Liberal Party’s election platform.
“The BC Liberals have a plan to make people’s lives better every day,” leader Andrew Wilkinson said, saying the plan will revive the economy as the pandemic continues and help secure communities while assisting the vulnerable and mentally ill, including those dealing with addictions.
The platform comes with a price tag of $40.94 billion for infrastructure in addition to $4.28 billion in tax cuts or credits.
Many of the platform items have already been announced.
Primary among party pledges are:
• eliminating the provincial sales tax (or one year with a 3% tax the following year);
• helping seniors stay in their homes longer with assistance and tax credits and access to private rooms when they require long term care;
• creating 10,000 new childcare spaces;
• creating $10-a-day child care for those making under $65,000, $20-a-day for those making under $90,000 and $30 for those making under $125,000 as part of a $1.1-billion plan;
• ending ICBC’s monopoly so drivers have choice and more affordable auto insurance rates;
• immediately restarting the 10-lane George Massey Tunnel replacement bridge project, creating a new Richmond Hospital acute care tower and a new second Surrey hospital;
• investing $1 billion over five years in long-term care facilities;
• masking sure seniors in long-term care have a private room if wanted;
• ending tent cities and providing more supports for people experiencing homelessness; and
• adding police, prosecutors and mental health workers, including psychiatric staff working with police to make our streets and communities safer.
Wilkinson said his part would work to ensure seniors can affordably age safely in their own homes through a new seniors’ home care tax credit with a tax up to $7,000 a year for up to $20,000 of housekeeping, home repairs and supportive care.
For the environment, the Liberals said more investment is needed in electric transportation and updating our building codes.
“Let’s kick-start the change by planning for solar and wind power, preparing for increased reliance on electricity instead of oil,” the platform said.
While the platform said the Liberals would work with Ottawa to review the carbon tax situation and carbon capture initiatives, emissions-fighting changes should include expanding public transit options, investing in more electric vehicle charging stations, supporting investments in renewable energy and next-generation clean energy and technology solutions.
The NDP unveiled its platform Oct. 6, promising better health care, affordability and security and good jobs in a clean energy future as the party’s three basic priorities.
In total, the NDP platform comprises 154 commitments, including 60 new promises.
Among them: a one-time recovery benefit of $1,000 for families and $500 for individuals, free public transportation for children under 12 and a rent freeze that lasts until the end of 2021. The recovery benefit alone is expected to cost $1.4 billion.