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BC NDP pitches 10-year cancer plan, Liberals promise safer communities

Last Updated Oct 7, 2020 at 8:21 pm PDT

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

BC NDP would create new cancer centres in Nanaimo and Kamloops

BC Liberals promised to make cities safer by investing in integrated police and mental health teams

BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau to make an announcement regarding small business

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The BC NDP pledges to launch a 10-year cancer action plan if re-elected in this month’s provincial election, while the Liberals would spend $58 million to make communities safer.

Standing in front of the Terry Fox memorial at B.C. Place on Wednesday, Leader John Horgan said the province would work with BC Cancer and regional health authorities and create new cancer centres in Nanaimo and Kamloops.

Existing cancer centres would be renovated and upgraded under the NDP plan, which would invest in staff and new equipment to deliver cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment services.

In the first five years of the plan, cancer patients would have just one point of contact, while clinicians would be added to meet demand. Families would also be offered genomic testing, while the NDP says it would improve access to care in rural communities.

Horgan also defended his party’s promise from the previous day, that giving families up to $1,000 is a better approach than the BC Liberals’ plan to eliminate the PST, for at least a year.

Horgan said a direct deposit provides more targeted relief.

“We all understand the consequences of COVID-19. It’s going to be here for the foreseeable future and we believe that giving British Columbians a couple of bucks to make sure that they’re taking care of their families is an appropriate expenditure at this time,” he added.

On the renter’s rebate, Horgan said people would receive $400 if he’s elected, blaming the Liberals and Greens for it not getting it approved during his most recent term as premier.

Liberals promise safer cities

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, at the Wall Centre in Downtown Vancouver on Wednesday, promised to make cities safer by investing in integrated police and mental health teams.

As part of a $58 million plan, the Liberals would increase the capacity of existing Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Teams and fund 200 more police officers to respond to crime and mental health-related emergency calls throughout our province.

Wilkinson says crime rates are rising in many parts of the province, pointing to a 21 per cent rise in aggravated assaults and assaults with a weapon in Vancouver this year.

Wilkinson, if elected, would expand the safety model already in place in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Surrey by hiring 100 more psychiatric social workers and nurses.

“John Horgan and the NDP haven’t taken these issues seriously at all,” Wilkinson says. “We need to give first responders the right tools to deal effectively with mental health-related events and their staffing to ensure public safety.”

The Liberals would also hire 40 additional, full-time Crown prosecutors and additional support staff to process charges and hear criminal trials in the court system.

The party says it would adopt technology innovations to reduce COVID-19-related court backlogs, as well, and conduct trials more effectively to expedite decisions and reduce delays.

“We need to strike the right balance by making sure the police have the tools to do their jobs and working with mental health professionals to tackle both issues together,” added Wilkinson.
“Everyone in B.C. needs to feel safe and supported. Our law enforcement teams play a key role and deserve our support and the best available tools to ensure public safety for everyone.”

BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau was in Whistler Wednesday to make an announcement regarding small business and tourism.