Families not first with BC Liberals: Horgan
In his inauguration speech in Vancouver Sunday, BC NDP's new leader John Horgan (photographed here March 23, 2014), says families and communities will be the NDP's focus. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
Families and communities will be the focus of the BC NDP under John Horgan, the freshly minted party leader said during his inauguration speech Sunday in Vancouver.
Horgan attacked the BC Liberals’ financial record and stance on issues affecting families in the province, such as electricity rate increases and child support clawbacks for single mothers.
“When I hear Christy Clark and the BC Liberals talk about ‘families first’ when they take child support payments back from single mothers — I can relate to that,” Horgan said, describing his childhood being raised by a single mother following his father’s death.
He said the party needs to examine why working British Columbians are not voting for the party, and poked fun at Premier Christy Clark’s claims she will make the province debt-free.
“They’re going to be debt-free, I saw it on the bus ... big print, big font. If it’s a big font they must be serious about it,” he said. “The debt in British Columbia has gone up faster under the BC Liberal watch than anytime in our history.”
But the BC Liberal Party took aim at the NDP’s record throughout the 1990s, releasing a letter to its members from Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett.
“This is the second leadership process in a row where the only candidates interested in being leader are connected directly to the ‘Decade of Decline,’” Bennett wrote. “Mr. Horgan, just like outgoing leader Adrian Dix, has been at the centre of the same ill-conceived economic policies for more than 20 years.”
Bennett alleged Horgan changes positions frequently on issues like natural resource extraction and the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Voters will find out this week how Horgan duels with his opponents across the aisle during his first week as the official leader of the opposition.
“I assure you we’re going to take them to task,” Horgan said. “I think anyone who knows me knows I’m going to enjoy it — to the max.”