BC Liberals call election 'hazardous' and 'unnecessary'

'Hazardous' election call

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.

You can tell we're in an election now by how quickly the NDP has responded to the BC Liberals and a story we published Monday.

A news release from the NDP references a quote Castanet received from BC Liberal Health Critic Norm Letnick, indicating he, "wrongly claimed an election is 'hazardous.'"

The release also highlighted an ad produced by the BC Liberal party which the NDP says, "wrongly claims an election is 'risking our health.' The news release says the statement, "directly contradicts what public health officials have said about the safety of an election."

The statement also includes a quote from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made back on July 24, 2020, 

“We are working with them so that we are prepared as a province for whatever comes up, whether it be the fall, next spring, next year, and that elections can happen safely.”

ORIGINAL 2:09 p.m.

Reaction from B.C. Liberals to Premier John Horgan's decision to call a snap election in British Columbia this fall is coming in fast and furious.

Declaring that "Horgan chose politics over people," BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson blasted the Premier; "he is cynical enough to put us through an election during a pandemic."

Norm Letnick, currently in his third term as MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country says there is no reason to call an election now, especially during a pandemic, "polls gave him political courage... not only is there no reason to call an election but it's hazardous to so during a pandemic."

There are still plenty of questions to be answered prior to voting day on Oct. 24 — seven of Horgan's cabinet ministers have announced they will not run. Both the Liberals and NDP have been rapidly nominating candidates.

The BC Liberals may be opposed to the election call but say they will put their best foot forward in order to win.

Letnick envisions issues on the campaign trail, "I don't see constituents being too eager to open their doors to door knockers, I guess we'll have to have more virtual meetings.

Wilkinson said the campaign promises to be different from anything British Columbians have experienced. He said much of it would be through social and mainstream media.

When asked whether he feels Horgan's high polling numbers will mean an easy victory for the NDP, Letnick said he feels that the people of British Columbia are likely to punish Horgan for the early election.

Wilkinson was particularly critical of Horgan’s attitude toward the Confidence and Supply Agreement signed between the NDP and B.C.’s Greens to maintain the NDP in power and Horgan in the premier’s office.

That agreement said no election would be called by the NDP until May 31, 2021, or the next scheduled election under the B.C. Constitution Act.

“[Horgan’s] torn that all to shreds for his own personal benefit,” Wilkinson said. “What happened to the deal he so solemnly signed.”

Wilkinson said the NDFP and Greens have betrayed British Columbians with the end of the CASA deal.

“What kind of person does that in the middle of a pandemic?” Wilkinson asked.

with files from Jeremy Hainsworth, Glacier Media

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