BC voters are going to the polls on October 24th.
Premier John Horgan made the snap-election announcement Monday following a meeting with B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Janet Austin.
“I have just met with the Lieutenant Governor and she has agreed with my request to hold an election on October 24,” Premier Horgan said in a media release.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything — the people of British Columbia deserve a say in the direction of our recovery and the future of our province.”
Following the last election in 2017, the NDP and BC Liberals were left in a tie, each with 41 MLA’s in the legislature.
However, the BC Green Party teamed up with Horgan’s NDP to form a minority government after then Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and Horgan reached a mutual Supply and Confidence Agreement.
“We’ve made a lot of progress for people over the last three years,” said Horgan, adding the BC NDP minority government lasted over three years, much longer than most minority governments.
“We invested in healthcare and schools. We build transit, housing and childcare centres.
“We eliminated the MSP — the largest middle-class tax cut in BC history — and during this pandemic, we kept people safe while staying focused on what matters.”
Horgan said the BC Liberals are pushing for changes that benefit the wealthy and well-connected — at taxpayer’s expense.
“We have a plan to keep you safe, and to make life better and more affordable for people,” he said.
“We’ve accomplished a lot on what matters most to people, and there’s a lot more work ahead of us.”
BC Liberal Party leader said Horgan "chose politics over people."
"The only reason for this general election is to try and secure the jobs of the NDP . . . it's not necessary," Wilkinson said.
B.C. Green Party, Sonia Furstenau, said Premier Horgan’s request for an early election in the middle of a pandemic shows that he is choosing the pursuit of political power over the health and safety of the people of B.C.
“As British Columbians are continuing to make sacrifices due to COVID-19, Horgan is choosing his own political fortunes over doing his job to serve them,” said Furstenau in a Green Party media release.
“There is no legitimate justification for this election. The Premier has a stable government. I met with him on Friday and made it clear that we were willing to continue to work together in the best interest of British Columbians. This election call is blatantly about the NDP seeing an opportunity - even in the midst of a pandemic - to put their own self-interest ahead of yours.”
Horgan also addressed how this election will have additional public health measures informed by the Provincial Public Health officer to ensure the safety of everyone.
“Like a lot of things these days, this election is going to look different than previous ones. I know we can do it safely,” Horgan said. “There will be new opportunities for people to vote in advance or by a mail-in-ballot from the comfort of their homes.”
There will be a number of long-time MLAs missing on the upcoming election ballot after many, including Nelson-Creston's Michelle Mungall, decided not to seek re-election.
Others include NDP cabinet ministers Carole James, Judy Darcy, Shane Simpson, Doug Donaldson, Claire Trevena and Scott Fraser.
Liberal MLAs Rich Coleman and Linda Reid, and former Green Party leader Andrew Weaver also announced they will not run again.