Two of B.C.’s main party leaders spoke with with CKNW‘s Jon McComb Monday morning: NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.
BC Liberal leader Christy Clark declined CKNW’s invitation to join the show.
Scrapping bridge tolls
Horgan is defending his policy to do away with tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges, saying he has no problem borrowing to fix highways and bridges.
“We’re going to borrow the money, as we did to build the Ironworkers Bridge and we’re going to amortize that over the longer period of time. Interest rates are low, we can negotiate these things, that’s what governments do.”
“We have an opportunity here to take the burden off the backs of one group of people and spread it across the province. I believe the roads in Prince George areas important as the roads in Surrey and I believe that all of us benefit when everyone can move around more effectively.”
Horgan is again promising an NDP government will balance its budget in its first three years, and will introduce $10-a-day child care by the end of its four-year mandate.
Big union donations
He also insists that just because a big union is paying the salaries of some of his top campaign staff, that doesn’t mean it’s getting anything special in return.
Horgan says he’s not going to tie his hands behind his back in a fight, and so in order to win, so he’s working within existing rules that allow his party’s current deal with the Steelworkers.
LISTEN: Full interview with NDP leader John Horgan
“Thirty thousand fewer people are working in the forest industry today than when the BC Liberals came into power. One hundred fifty mills have closed during that time. Steelworkers, like people in resource communities right across B.C., want a government that’s fighting for them.”
Horgan is vowing to change election laws the day after he gets into power.
BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver has been calling the Steelworkers’ contributions to the NDP into question, saying his party is the only one not taking money from corporations or unions.
Hydro rates and run of river projects
Weaver is setting the record straight on his supposed support for run of river hydro projects, saying the NDP likes telling people what Weaver thinks… but people should just ask him.
LISTEN: Full interview with BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver
“I never supported those contracts. I do recognize that small scale hydro has played a very important role in First Nations communities across British Columbia. Lytton, Tofino, Port Alberni… I could go on and on. There are many many examples of very successful small-scale hydro projects that have created jobs for local communities and got them off diesel.”
Weaver says some of the bigger contracts, though, are egregious.
But when asked whether he would break those deals, Weaver said he needs to look at the contracts first, saying he won’t make policy on the fly.