BC NDP candidate for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Lisa Beare talks with Party leader John Horgan on Friday in Osprey Village, flanked by candidates Pam Alexis, for Abbotsford-Mission, and Bob D’Eith for Maple Ridge-Mission. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

BC NDP candidate for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Lisa Beare talks with Party leader John Horgan on Friday in Osprey Village, flanked by candidates Pam Alexis, for Abbotsford-Mission, and Bob D’Eith for Maple Ridge-Mission. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

BC NDP leader in Pitt Meadows highlighting affordability plan

John Horgan says plan will save families an average $3,400 a year

BC NDP leader John Horgan made a stop in Pitt Meadows Friday morning to highlight his plan that he says will save an average family of four an additional $3,400 a year.

Horgan said if his party is reelected his plan will include a recovery benefit of up to $1,000 for middle-class and low income families and $500 for individuals.

He will freeze residential rents until 2021 and give out a renters’ rebate of up to $400 a year.

And expand his party’s $10 a day daycare plan while protecting the $350 childcare fee reduction.

In addition, the BC NDP will also expand the BC Access Grant to enable middle-class students access up to $4,000 a year for tuition and textbooks.

Horgan claimed that under the BC Liberals MSP premiums doubled and the cost of housing, car insurance and hydro “all skyrocketed”.

He promised that the BC NDP will cut ICBC rates by $400 and promised free transit for children up to 12-years, in addition to expanding transit options for growing communities.

“If you are taking your family into town and you are hopping on the Skytrain or, here, if you are hopping on the West Coast Express, that’s significant savings over time,” said Horgan from the South Bonson Community Centre in Osprey Village.

“We’re confident that on average there is going to be significant savings for families, not just this year but in the years going forward,” he added.

He said that the previous BC Liberal government used ICBC as a bank machine.

READ MORE: Advance voting begins today in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

“We bailed them out to the tune of millions of dollars of other tax money so we could stabilize the company,” said Horgan to a crowd of reporters.

“We think we’ve got it in a good place and next year with a new model, making sure that people that need medical care get it right away. They don’t need to go to court for this. They should be getting it instantly and that’s going to bring down costs and it’s going to make sure that people get the care that they need as well,” he said, comparing his plan to a double word score in the board game Scrabble.

The NDP government didn’t save ICBC, said BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie for the riding of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

READ MORE: Homelessness, health care chief topics for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows all-candidates forum

In fact, she said, annual ICBC premiums rose under their watch from 2017 to 2020 and now, Ashlie believes, that people in the province need choice.

She is behind BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson’s plan of introducing private auto insurance companies into the B.C. market.

“If you like the no-fault ICBC model you can go through that model. If you want to go through a traditional model of building out your own coverage by going to all private providers, that’s your choice,” said Ashlie, adding that the BC Liberal party’s plan won’t penalize young drivers, that, she says, are currently paying more for their auto insurance than the cost of their cars.

READ MORE: Candidates debate homelessness, budgets and more

Further, she added, the BC Liberal plan will generate the same if not more savings in insurance.

Nothing in their previous three years of government has come to fruition, continued Ashlie.

And, she said, the BC NDP’s platform pieces around the COVID-19 pandemic are something all parties are working on, not just the NDP.

“To see three parties working so cohesively to help people get through this period to have it all pulled out under them,” said Ashlie about Horgan’s decision to call a snap-election. The BC NDP want to make it look like they are “the saviour party,” she said.

“It’s nothing more than them trying to take advantage of all that collective hard work of the three party’s combined. It’s just unconscionable that that’s what he is doing,” she said referring to BC NDP leader John Horgan.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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