South Island candidates say BC platform priorities mesh with local voters' priorities

In the midst of the huge momentum building behind the NDP, Jack Layton launched the NDP’s BC platform today. The platform contains commitments to protect the environment, create jobs and make life more affordable for BC families – issues that south island candidates Randall Garrison (Esquimalt Juan de Fuca), Denise Savoie (Victoria) and Edith Loring-Kuhanga (Saanich Gulf Islands) say are priorities for voters in southern Vancouver Island.

South Island Candidate Comments

Randall Garrison (Esquimalt Juan de Fuca):
“The first point in the BC platform is Jack Layton’s commitment that we won’t be penalized for voting down the HST.” said Garrison. “It is a huge issue here. The HST has increased costs for everyone. Local hospitality businesses are suffering. Students are paying more for bikes. Seniors who are struggling to make ends meet are telling me they get hit by the HST everyday. People know it’s only the NDP who are standing up for them.”

“The NDP defence plan calls for re-equipping the Navy as the first priority,” said Garrison. “We can do that and ensure that fairly tendered shipbuilding contracts give our shipyards get a fair chance at the work.”

Denise Savoie (Victoria):
“Environmental protection and sustainability are central to this BC platform,” said Savoie. “Banning tanker traffic on the north coast and supporting green transportation are issues that matter to people in our community. Today's BC platform builds upon the national platform released earlier that included priorities such as supporting local farmers and focusing on domestic markets for food, and you can trust New Democrats to deliver on these commitments.”

“Harper’s Conservatives and the Liberals before them have given huge tax cuts to corporations at the expense of local jobs,” said Savoie. “Offering incentives for job creation and reducing the tax rate for small business will help build jobs in our communities.”

Edith Loring-Kuhanga (Saanich Gulf Islands)
"As a successful small business owner and operator for the last 15 years, I really applaud the 2% small business tax reduction. It will help small businesses hire more BC workers," says Loring-Kuhanga.

"I welcome our commitment to supporting the BC Treaty process so First Nation communities and BC businesses can move forward creating certainty, jobs and improving lives for British Columbians," says Loring-Kuhanga.

BC Platform Highlights:
• protect our coast and waterways by banning oil super tankers, maintaining the moratorium on west coast oil and gas exploration, and stopping the Enbridge pipeline;
• establish a national shipbuilding strategy that will ensure BC shipyards stay busy;
• commit to the BC Treaty process so First Nation communities and BC businesses can thrive with the certainty settled treaties bring;
• protecting wild salmon and ensuring long-term sustainable jobs by moving fish farms to closed containment;
• keep jobs in BC by restricting raw log exports;
• lower the small business tax rate from 11 to 9 percent;
• ensure BC is not forced to pay Stephen Harper’s $1.6 billion penalty if voters scrap the HST in the June referendum;
• enact New Democrat MP Denise Savoie’s green commuter Bill C-466 to make employer-provided benefits for transit, carpooling and cycle commuting tax-free.

For the full BC platform click here http://www.ndp.ca/bc