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B.C. election: Party leaders promise funding for students, treatment and housing

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Oct 1, 2020 at 3:13 pm PDT

FILE - (From left) BC NDP Leader John Horgan, BC Liberal Leader Leader Andrew Wilkinson, and BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau (CityNews)
Summary

New Democrat leader John Horgan promised Thursday to provide grants of up to $4,000 to students

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson accused the NDP of not having treatment or prevention programs for addicts

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau discussed long-term care on Thursday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — New Democrat leader John Horgan promised Thursday to provide grants of up to $4,000 to students to help cover tuition, textbooks and supplies.

Horgan also announced that, if re-elected, the province would create an additional 2,000 spaces at post-secondary institutions across B.C. for students in technology-related programs.


“In addition to the 2,900 spaces already created for the tech sector, we’re creating an additional 2,000 spaces so that institutions across British Columbia can provide the skills people need so they can succeed in the fast-growing tech sector,” Horgan said.

Meanwhile, Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson accused the NDP of not having treatment or prevention programs for addicts and promised to give the courts, police and first-responders more tools to maintain public safety — such as restricting camping in city parks, enforcing the ban on unsafe roadside panhandling, and exploring alternative approaches to mental health and substance calls.

“We need to end these lawless camps and tent cities in city parks with a provincial mandate to help these vulnerable people and re-establish order on our streets,” he said.


Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau discussed long-term care on Thursday.

She said her party has a four-point plan to move away from a for-profit long-term care home system involving community-based services and co-ops.

“Our seniors, their health and their care are not a commodity for investors to profit from,” Furstenau says. “It’s time we shift our tax dollars away from for-profit long-term care in B.C.”

Earlier this year, B.C.’s seniors advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, released her report called A Billion Reasons to Care, which documented concerning differences within contracted care in B.C.
Despite receiving on average the same level of public funding, for-profit care homes failed to deliver over 207,000 direct care hours, while reporting 12 times the profits, compared to non-profits.

“While we helped to drive some positive steps in the minority government, we have yet to see the courage necessary from either the B.C. NDP or the B.C. Liberals to change a system that isn’t working. We need to think bigger, and take the steps that our seniors need and deserve,” she added.

The provincial election is Oct. 24.