Friday, September 30, 2016

NDP's John Horgan offers up a shift in provincial/municipal relations for UBCM members

The week that is turned over to speeches, presentations and workshops continued into its fourth day yesterday and the focus once again turned to the provincial scene as the opposition NDP had its time to bend some ears at the UBCM convention

One day following BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark's address to the delegates, NDP leader John Horgan had his time at the podium, providing a narrative for the province's municipal leaders that charted the future should the NDP form a government in May of 2017.

In his comments for the convention, Mr. Horgan talked of a new relationship, one which embraces a partnership with municipalities and ends what he called the divisive politics of the Liberals under Christy Clark.

“Instead of listening, learning and embracing partnership with local governments, our premier continues to deny, deflect and download costs,” ... “I want to restore people’s faith in the ability of government to make life better, to make change happen, to invest in our future, to come to the table with new ideas, [and] to make our economy work for all of us, not just a fortunate few,”

NDP Leader John Horgan covered a fair amount of
territory in his UBCM address on Thursday
Photo from UBCM Flckr feed)

Through the address the NDP leader put a significant focus on transportation infrastructure, telling delegates that an NDP government would make a four lane highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border one of its priorities for investment.

As well for those delegates from the population heavy Lower mainland, he touted an increase in provincial funding for transportation and transit improvements increasing provincial participation to 40 percent.

Horgan also touched on education concerns in the province, noting that the NDP would offer a different approach to what he suggested were the pre-election funding motives of the Liberal party.

Countering the flow of sudden burst of financial resources recently delivered by the Liberals, with  an NDP plan to deliver  stable and predictable funding, designed he said to allow for School Districts to address issues in their communities.

For the municipal leaders in attendance, Horgan also outlined a new approach when it comes to the delivery of community gaming, noting that an NDP government would improve the current system to provide for long-term, flexible funding to local governments.

Some of his key talking points from Thursday's address can be reviewed here.

Should Mr. Horgan be successful in the upcoming campaign he will have the marquee speaking time at the 2017 convention and members attending the Vancouver gathering will have an opportunity to gauge how fast a track the NDP leader will be on when it comes to his promised new direction.

You can review our notes on the week of UBCM from our archive page here.

More background on provincial politics is available on our Legislature archive page or through our political portal Darcy McGee.

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