Falcon brings northern prosperity agenda to Fort St. John visit

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Two weeks after announcing he will be running for the B.C. Liberal party leadership, Kevin Falcon made a trip to Fort St. John.

Addressing the Peace River North Riding Association for the B.C. Liberals, Monday, Falcon spoke about the importance of the North to the provincial economy.

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Falcon has just released a Northern Prosperity Agenda which outlines various items he says are designed to help the growth of the province’s northern economies. The agenda includes extending and increasing investment in the Interior and Rural Side Roads Program as well as reducing the Agricultural Land Reserve’s processes in regards to farm land in the northeast.

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Falcon also says he believes the HST is beneficial for the province, however adds that he supports a referendum on the controversial tax.

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Although the tax is expected to go to a binding referendum in September, he says he will support whatever the public decides. However, he also says he hopes to speak with residents about the benefits of the tax, even proposing a decrease in the tax rate. He says he would support a one per cent drop in the tax and a further one per cent decrease whenever provincial revenues allow.

After nine years with Gordon Campbell as B.C.’s premier, Falcon says the public is looking for a new generation of leadership, which he represents.

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A factor that could affect how the new leader is chosen is a proposed new voting system. The B.C. Liberal party has recommended a new weighted system which would give each region in the province the same number of votes, no matter how many Liberal members it has.

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Whether the new system is chosen will be decided on Feb. 12, just two weeks before the leadership election. Falcon says he supports the new system because he feels it would ensure whoever wins will have support from across the province and not simply from the areas with a large member base.

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