The Ontario NDP campaign school starts March 1 and continues to March 4. There are two classes a day (see https://www.ontariondp.ca/campaign-school-2021 for a complete schedule). Monday’s sessions start at 3:00 pm PST and 4:30 pm PST. Classes start at 3:00 pm PST and 5:00 pm PST on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are sessions on digital campaigning, voter contact, staying on message, and fundraising!
All of the trainings are public facing and anyone can participate.
The high cost of providing infrastructure for residents in and around rural and remote communities in B.C. has been identified by municipal governments, First Nations, Regional Districts, regional Internet service providers, and community advocates as one of the key barriers to expanding internet services.
The Connecting British Columbia program helps pay for infrastructure required to deliver high-speed internet connectivity to rural and remote areas of the province.
Over 500 rural and Indigenous communities will benefit from investments made through the Connecting British Columbia program. Locally, these include:
The Province has announced funding for a new Parkcrest school, committing nearly $35 million toward a new kindergarten-to-Grade-6 facility. The new school will have room for an additional 120 students, bringing the total to 510 students. It will include both a learning centre and a larger gym for use by community groups as well as students, thanks to the City of Kamloops, which contributed $2.5 million towards their construction. Work is set to begin in summer 2022. The school is expected to open by spring 2024. It will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards that will help to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while improving the school’s annual energy costs.
Funding for Parkcrest is in addition to $32.7 million recently invested in a 525-seat addition to Valleyview Secondary, set to open in September 2022.
In the last three years, the Province has announced more than $2.2 billion for 109 school capital projects, including nearly $760 million to create 13,280 student seats at new and expanded schools in fast-growing communities throughout British Columbia. To further keep up with enrolment growth, government has invested $211 million to purchase 14 sites for future schools since September 2017.
Budget 2020 includes a record $2.8 billion for seismic upgrades and replacements, new and expanded schools, and land purchases for future schools.
Today is election day. British Columbians have an important and clear choice to make. We can go back to the BC Liberals—who cut taxes for the rich at the expense of everyone else. Or we can keep helping people—with John Horgan’s plan to keep us healthy, safe and secure through the pandemic and beyond.
Together, we can help people get through this pandemic. We can build a BC where strong public services are always there when people need them. We can create good jobs as we meet the challenge of the climate crisis. And we can work in partnership with Indigenous peoples to ensure that everyone benefits.
But we can only build on the progress we’ve made if British Columbians vote for their BC NDP candidate today. Get out and vote—and bring this home.
The stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. This is about what kind of government we want to lead us as we face a second wave of COVID-19 and prepare for a brighter future.
During an appearance on a podcast a few weeks ago, Andrew Wilkinson admitted that he wants to cut taxes for the top income tax bracket. That would mean a $216 million tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1% of British Columbians. That’s on top of the BC Liberal platform that offers millionaires tax-free yachts but invests less than half what the BC NDP plan does in health care.
Andrew Wilkinson has the wrong priorities. British Columbians need to ask themselves: do we help the rich get richer or do we invest to help keep people safe and secure through the pandemic? Our votes decide.
There has never been a more important time to invest in health care and fix long-term care for seniors. That’s what John Horgan’s plan does. Instead of helping those that need it the least, John’s plan continues helping people who need it most — keeping us healthy, safe, and secure through the pandemic and beyond.
John’s plan will help families with a $1,000 recovery benefit, improve health care by hiring 7,000 frontline workers for long-term care, and create 18,000 jobs building infrastructure. A re-elected BC NDP government led by John Horgan will move BC forward, not for those at the top, but for all of us.
Wednesday, October 21, is the last day to vote at the advance poll before the October 24 election.
On Monday, John Horgan joined over 470,000 British Columbians who have voted in the advance polls. It was safe, easy, and fast—it took him just five minutes to vote. Today is the last day to vote in advance. People can vote from 8 am to 8 pm at any polling station, no matter where they are in the province. Make sure to tell people to visit bcndp.ca/how-to-vote for details on voting locations and what identification they should bring. Important note: if you still have a mail-in ballot, bring it to any advance poll location.
As a senior civil servant in 2005, Andrew Wilkinson facilitated a deal between the City of Prince Rupert and a China-based company called Sun Wave Forest Products to reopen a shuttered pulp mill.
When Sun Wave reneged on the deal and left Prince Rupert in the lurch years later, Wilkinson represented the company in a lawsuit against the city. The legal fight between Sun Wave and Prince Rupert cost the city millions in legal fees and hampered the local economy as the court battle dragged on for years:
When Wilkinson was Deputy Minister of Economic Development in 2005 and 2006, he facilitated the sale of the closed Skeena Cellulose Pulp Mill in Prince Rupert to Sun Wave Forest Products.
That company received a 25-year property tax holiday from the city in return for a promise to re-open the mill by December 31, 2007.
When Sun Wave broke its promise and owed millions in back taxes, the City of Prince Rupert took back the site and sought to find a new owner and use for it.
Despite his previous role in government on the file, Wilkinson represented Sun Wave when the company sued Prince Rupert between 2010 and 2012.
The protracted legal proceedings with Sun Wave cost the City of Prince Rupert $3.5 million and prevented the city from finding another use for the site during the dispute.
Nathan Cullen, Stikine BC NDP candidate: “When Sun Wave backed out of the bad deal Wilkinson put together, he cashed in and helped the company sue the taxpayers of Prince Rupert. He looked out for himself and BC Liberal donors, and the people of Prince Rupert paid the price.”
Jennifer Rice, North Coast BC NDP candidate: “Andrew Wilkinson should have walked away from this given his role putting this deal together. He knew exactly how much our town was struggling. Instead, he helped a company devastate our community when we were vulnerable.”
Joy Thorkelson, former Prince Rupert councillor: “Sun Wave filed lawsuit after lawsuit against our town. It cost us millions and impacted services and taxes. They treated the mill workers and the people of our town like they were nothing. And Andrew Wilkinson helped them.”
2003: Andrew Wilkinson is appointed Deputy Minister of Economic Development (LinkedIn)
2005: Discussions begin with the City of Prince Rupert, Sun Wave and the government of BC on Sun Wave Forest Products on the acquisition of the closed Skeena Pulp Mill in Prince Rupert. (The Globe and Mail)
2005: In his capacity as Deputy Minister, Wilkinson writes a detailed five-page letter to Sun Wave Forest Products. That letter provides information to the company on a number of topics including property taxes, forestry matters and environmental issues related to Sun Wave’s purchase. “The government of British Columbia welcomes your ideas for restarting the Prince Rupert pulp mill, and we will do our best to provide you with clear answers to your various questions.” (The Globe and Mail)
Wilkinson’s platform is silent on his plans for the minimum wage. But when asked about his plans in May, Wilkinson called for a “wholesale reassessment” and suggested the next increase scheduled for June 1, 2021 should not go ahead as planned:
Mike Smyth: “So put up the minimum wage or not? Keep it the same? Raise it? What?”
Wilkinson: “We should probably stick with the scheduled minimum wage increase this summer and then we’re gonna have to have a wholesale reassessment of where this economy is going. Because people are very, very worried about whether they’re going to have a job at all, let alone what the wage will be.” (CKNW Audio, May 6, 2020)
In the same interview, Wilkinson made comments diminishing the contribution that essential workers make every day during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“We’ve got cashiers starting at 16 dollars an hour for scanning stuff at the supermarket. So it remains to be seen. We’ve got to keep up with the price of goods so that people can afford to live. But at the same time, that also drives up the price of groceries.”
“You know, people working as cashiers in the grocery stores are making about 16 bucks an hour as a starting wage. That’s good. But is it sustainable?”
The 171,000 British Columbians who earn minimum wage are scheduled to receive a raise from $14.60 to $15.20 on June 1, 2021. The BC NDP will tie the minimum wage to inflation after that.
BC NDP Candidate Harry Bains: “Andrew Wilkinson’s comments diminish the contribution of essential workers and show that he’s not committed to giving minimum wage earners the raise they need during this pandemic. It’s disappointing that he has not been clear with British Columbians about his plans for the minimum wage.”
CAMPBELL RIVER — John Horgan was back on Vancouver Island today, promising that a re-elected BC NDP would continue bringing people, communities, and governments together to protect and revitalize BC’s wild salmon populations.
“Wild salmon are crucial to the success of our economy, the prosperity of coastal communities, and the lives of Indigenous peoples,” said Horgan. “The challenges affecting wild salmon stocks in BC are complex. It’s important that we work with people and communities to find solutions.”
After 16 years of BC Liberals ignoring the diminishing salmon populations, Horgan said he was proud of the progress his government has made. He pointed specifically to partnering with the federal government on the $143 million BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, which he said a re-elected BC NDP government would work to double.
“Our BC NDP government has worked hard to ensure wild salmon are protected for future generations,” said Horgan. “We have invested in projects that will help us support wild salmon stocks and fisheries, which are vital to coastal communities, Indigenous peoples, and industries. Together, we will continue that important work in the years to come.”
Horgan said he would also build on the historic, government-to-government Broughton Archipelago process, which brought Indigenous peoples and industry together to create a more sustainable future for all communities and workers.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will work to protect BC wild salmon by:
Supporting innovation in fish hatcheries
Working to process more BC-caught fish in BC
Stepping up protection of fish habitat through our biodiversity strategy
Creating a watershed security strategy
Establish a Watershed Security Fund to fund Indigenous and local initiatives