VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s party leaders levelled criticism at each other’s spending promises as they spent Good Friday campaigning.
Liberal leader Christy Clark started the day campaigning in her home riding of West Kelowna, dishing out pancakes to local residents.
Although Clark said it wasn’t a day for politics, she did take aim at the NDP’s announcement this week to eliminate tolls on two major bridges in the Lower Mainland.
The New Democrat’s announcement came just after the Liberals said they would cap bridge tolls to $500 per year for drivers in a bid to attract drivers in the Surrey and Delta ridings.
Clark said the NDP’s “scheme” to use a $500 million fund generated from liquefied natural gas revenues to eliminate tolls on two major bridges will harm future generations.
She said tapping into the prosperity fund created by her government would “raid our kids’ inheritance.”
At an event in South Vancouver, NDP leader John Horgan responded to the criticism, saying the fund is a fantasy because there haven’t been any LNG revenues to support it.
The New Democrats claim the fund was created first with revenues from a medical service plan hike in 2016 and then topped up with revenues from the property transfer tax.
Horgan said Clark’s government failed to create jobs in the LNG sector which they promised in the last election.
The NDP leader then turned the tables, saying Clark has already failed the province’s children by “starving them of the education they deserved,” a reference to legislation that blocked teachers from negotiating class sizes. The Supreme Court of Canada deemed it unconstitutional last year.
“From kindergarten to Grade 12, a whole generation of kids was let down by Christy Clark. I’m not going to take any advice from her on the future,” Horgan said.
He maintains his party, if elected, would deliver balanced budgets while freezing hydro rates, implementing a rental housing credit and increasing social assistance rates.