We have become the third party in Island and Coastal Ridings. We can do better.
The BC Liberal seat count on Vancouver Island has gone from four to two to one to none, and we’ve become uncompetitive in Powell River-Sunshine Coast.
Especially with changes to electoral boundaries coming, we need to start competing actively in all of those ridings - not just a few - in order to form government ever again. Beyond that, people in those ridings are sick and tired of being taken for granted by the NDP or written off as a guaranteed loss by our party. They deserve better.
The second leadership debate was held in Victoria, so I came prepared to talk about Island issues - and I was by far the only candidate who actually did so.
Here are a few clips from the debate where I talked about improving healthcare on the island with more doctors and nurses and tertiary care capacity, as well as about transportation issues and the need to address fiscal fairness for our “marine highways.”
Fiscal fairness is a twofold issue. People who depend on coastal “saltwater” ferries are getting a raw deal relative to the provincial funding of inland “freshwater” ferries. Simultaneously, the federal government has doubled its funding for Atlantic ferries while its support for BC Ferries routes has remained static.
We need a new leader who understands that and will take Island and Coastal issues seriously.
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