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Cooperation needed to recover, Wilkinson tells UBCM

Pandemic, housing availability, opioid crisis, land use top issues
Andrew Wilkinson addresses the UBCM conference September 23

British Columbians need to come together to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to work together to ensure an economic recovery, B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson told Union of B.C. Municipalities conference delegates Sept. 23.

As he has since Premier John Horgan called the Oct. 24 provincial election Sept. 21, Wilkinson decried the need for an election during the pandemic.

He said British Columbians have been “sideswiped by the ambitions of John Horgan and the NDP.”

Wilkinson slammed Horgan for releasing the government economic recovery plan Sept. 17, saying it was little more than a cynical election ploy considering it came months after other provinces had released similar planning documents.

And, with the pandemic still going, Wilkinson said more than 800,000 people are expected to vote by mail.

What that means, he said, is that an election result might not be known until November, leaving the province without an effective government for two months.

Elections BC has already confirmed mail-in vote counting does not start until 13 days after election day.

However, Wilkinson said, the Liberals are going to be putting forward policy plans in the coming days.

Major issues, he said, include cooperative work on the pandemic, increasing housing availability, the opioid crisis, land use issues around forestry and natural resource extraction.

Wilkinson said it is essential local communities and First Nations share in the benefits of natural resource income.

Premier John Horgan and Green Leader Sonia Furstenau are expected to speak to UBCM delegates Sept. 24.


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