Conservative leader Stephen Harper was in Richmond Friday morning to release his party’s full platform.
And to a crowd in what is now considered a battleground riding, he says the economy is his number one priority.
The Conservatives say this may be the first time a national party has chosen to release its full platform in B.C., and it’s likely not coincidental.
This part of the province is certainly in play.
If you believe the polls, Revenue Minister Kerry Lynne Findlay is in a tough fight to hang onto her seat in Delta, as is Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong in Richmond-Centre.
This area has a high concentration of ethnic voters, and there is concern that focus on hot-button issues like refugees, citizenship and the niqab may not sit well with them.
Focusing on the economy and family values helped many in that community vote Conservative last time around.
The party’s platform contains campaign promises amounting to $6.8 billion over four years.
Questions about refugee applications continue to dog PM
But it’s hard to keep the focus on the economy, with new reports the PMO may have been involved in screening refugees.
Harper was asked why certain religious groups were given priorities for refugee status over others, according to a report this week by the Globe and Mail.
“The obvious reason that we prioritized vulnerable religious and ethnic groups — we prioritize the most vulnerable people in terms of our refugee acceptance policies — the minority religious and ethnic groups in the Syria and Iraq area are in fact being targeted by ISIS and its allies for extermination.”
Harper denied the preference was for Christian refugees, saying Muslim minorities were also prioritized.
And he reiterated the PMO was not involved in the screening process.