VANCOUVER â€” A look at some key developments from Day 15 of the B.C. election campaign for each of the parties:
â€” Leader Christy Clark suspended campaigning, opting instead to address developments in the softwood lumber dispute after the U.S. government announced duties of up to 24 per cent on Canadian wood exports.
â€” Speaking at a lumber mill in Maple Ridge, Clark cautioned against a knee-jerk reactions that could jeopardize negotiations and said “cooler heads need to prevail.”
â€” Clark said her government tried to reach a softwood deal with the previous U.S. administration, but found no willingness to negotiate. The Liberal leader said she’s hopeful U.S. President Donald Trump’s government will recognize that limiting the supply of Canadian softwood will harm American jobs.
â€” The NDP announced plans to build a new $1.2 billion hospital in Burnaby, B.C. Leader John Horgan said the facility would include a family urgent care centre to reduce pressure on the hospital’s emergency room.
â€” Horgan attacked Clark on softwood lumber, saying she has not given the issue “the urgency it deserves” and now thousands of B.C. workers are at risk of losing their jobs.
â€” Horgan promised that if elected premier, he would travel to Washington, D.C., within 30 days to sit down with U.S. representatives and talk about securing a softwood lumber deal.
â€” Andrew Weaver called news of the lumber dispute “devastating” for British Columbia’s forest industry. He said the government has failed to ensure the province’s interests were front and centre in softwood negotiations.
â€” Weaver said far too many forest tenure licences had been awarded to multinational companies that have no interest in value-added jobs. He said a B.C. Green government would put restrictions on the export of raw logs.
The Canadian Press