MLA Dan Davies – Weekly Column – Horgan should focus on job numbers, not polling numbers.

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The next provincial election here in British Columbia isn’t scheduled until the Fall of next year. Although there is no guarantee what the status of COVID-19 will be by then, people definitely don’t want to head to the polls any time soon. Although our medical staff, essential workers, and nearly all British Columbians have held firm and done their part to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, we are far from out of the woods yet. So why is John Horgan standing in front of the cameras during record-breaking numbers and floating the idea that he may trigger an early election and send voters to the polls much earlier than anyone wants to?

The answer is unfortunately quite selfish. Across Canada, including in Ottawa, minority governments are testing the waters to see if they can take advantage of the chaos of COVID-19 to snatch up a couple of extra seats. There’s no doubt this thought has crossed Horgan’s mind, but the reality is that the consequences of his government’s poor handling of the COVID-19 economic recovery plan are soon to come into full force across our province, and Horgan knows he will have a lot more to answer for if he sticks to the election date that he promised to British Columbians back in 2017.

While looming tax deadlines threaten to close thousands of businesses across British Columbia, the NDP have been reluctant to throw any form of lifeline and have yet to release their economic recovery plan outlining how they intend to utilize the $1.5 Billion Economic Recovery Fund. Under the NDP, British Columbia has gone from top employment in Canada to having the third-highest unemployment rate amongst the provinces and territories.

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The economy isn’t the only place where the NDP know they have failed British Columbians in a big way. With unemployment numbers at a record high, thousands of British Columbians are facing eviction, and yet the NDP have refused to spend more than half of the promised funding allocated for rental assistance. Students and families are also exacerbated with the roll-out of the NDP’s back-to-school plan. Despite strong opposition to the plan by the BCTF and calls from teachers and families across the province for greater distance and hybrid learning options, the NDP have steamed ahead with a plan that
forced as many students back into classrooms as possible, creating unnecessary risk for students, teachers, support staff, and households caring for immune-compromised family-members. Add to this the failed housing plan and failed mental health and addictions plan.

There is no guarantee that we will go to the polls early, and with the pushback Horgan has gotten, it is abundantly clear that nobody wants an election here in B.C. right now. Despite what the Premier may try to convince the media, the only reason we would go to an early election is because he decided to trigger one. John Horgan needs to focus on keeping people safe, rebuilding our economy, and letting British Columbians go to the polls when the election is scheduled next fall.

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