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News1130 Special: Speaking with each NDP candidate

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – There isn’t much time left for the four NDP leadership candidates to make their mark.  All week, News1130 is chatting live with each candidate, asking them your questions.

Dana Larsen

He’s best-known as the Marijuana party founder. NDP leadership candidate Dana Larsen feels good about his chances to win the New Democrats’ vote this weekend.

Larsen founded the federal and provincial Marijuana parties in 2000 and 2001, but says he joined the NDP in 2003 and has been very active within the party. “And it’s been a great campaign, I’ve brought forward a lot of great ideas and met lots of people and I think I’ve got the skills and the experience to lead the NDP to victory.”

If elected premier one day, Larsen says he’d propose to make SkyTrain free. He’d also ban corporate and union donations, expand the ALR, and take what he calls a “smart approach on crime” by relying less on prisons and forming new drug policies.

Adrian Dix

If he became premier,  Adrian Dix says he’d make some much needed improvements to our transportation system. He wants to change the current funding issues plaguing TransLink.

Speaking live on the News1130 Morning Show, Dix says all the money the carbon tax brought in in 2008 and 2009 went towards something other than the environment. “None of that money, not a cent, went to transit. What I’m proposing is to roll back some corporate tax cuts and use them for environmental purposes, like transit.

Dix also says TransLink needs to become more democratic with elected, rather than appointed, board members.

John Horgan

When the leadership race began, John Horgan wasn’t exactly a household name. But the MLA for Juan de Fuca has quietly become one of the front-runners in the race.

We asked Horgan what changed. He says it was simply a matter of putting himself out there. “I’m very well-known in the south island and up and down Vancouver Island. But I’m not well-known in the Lower Mainland. So, that was a challenge. But I’ve met that challenge by going into communities, talking to people, and gaining support as I go.”

Horgan tells us he wouldn’t oppose a public inquiry into the sale of BC Rail. “I think most British Columbians want to know how we went from a commitment by the BC Liberals to not sell our railway to it actually happening within 24 months of their election to a company that was a sizeable donor to the BC Liberal coffers.”

Horgan wants to do something about taxes in BC, once again pushing his idea of a Fair Tax Commission. The concept has been a big part of his platform.

He explains the commission would look at all the ways the province collects money from its citizens. “How are we going to manage life after we defeat the HST? Where are we going to get our revenues from, and how do we balance that in a fair way that doesn’t put too much onus on the backs of middle income British Columbians?”

Mike Farnworth

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth says a New Democrat government can do a better job managing the economy than the Liberals. Farnworth explains despite BC’s credit rating being re-affirmed at the highest level, the Liberals have not done a good job.

“Let’s look at their record,” he says. “I don’t intend on ever going on TV as a premier and announcing a tax cut one day, and then three weeks later we’re going to going to claw it back because, ‘Oh, sorry, I didn’t find my popularity to get the results [that] we want.'”

Farnworth was asked if he would make any goods or services taxable under the PST to earn more revenue if the HST is defeated. “What I’ve said and what we’ve said is that if we go back to the PST system we will go back to the system as it existed the day before they introduced the HST.”

“That’s what people signed the referendum forms on,” he adds. “That’s what people expected when they asked for the referendum.”

Farnworth explains jobs and the economy are still top concerns for British Columbians, especially in rural BC.

News1130 will have full live coverage of the NDP leadership vote on Sunday.