BC party leaders take election campaign to annual Sikh celebration

NDP Leader John Horgan finds his refuge playing disc-golf on a course he built with his sons in a wooded area near his home

It promises to pay for the new spending by raising large corporate income tax by one per cent, imposing an "empty housing speculation tax" and reinstating a two-per cent income tax increase on high-income earners removed by the BC Liberal government in 2015.

- The B.C. Liberals support the pipeline, while the NDP and Greens oppose it.

Meanwhile, B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark spent the morning campaigning with a pancake breakfast in her home riding of Westside-Kelowna, where she took a shot at the NDP's plan to eliminate bridge tolls. The B.C. NDP responded by promising to slash tolls on both the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.

When asked about the NDP's new platform of subsidizing households that choose to rent, Clark says only wealthy renters in Downtown Vancouver will benefit.

"Somebody in another part of British Columbia that doesn't live on Vancouver Island is going to be paying for ferry service".

Also in Vancouver Wednesday, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver unveiled a plan to increase income assistance, disability assistance and shelter allowance by 10 per cent a year, starting this fall and continuing for five years.

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In a statement, Liberal candidate Mike de Jong says there's no way for the NDP to balance the budget, which he describes as reckless.

The party says it plans to make good on a promise to offer renters a $400 rebate, but there will be a threshold based on monthly rent. The first budget would have $717 million in new spending.

Horgan said their platform will create 96,000 jobs through investments in schools, hospitals, transit and infrastructure.

"For the people who are drawn to the chant 'We're number eight, ' Mr. Horgan has presented a blueprint for getting there", he said.

The NDP would begin increasing carbon tax on fuels starting in 2019, two years before Premier Christy Clark has said she would resume increases to keep pace with the federal government mandate for nation-wide carbon pricing.

"If they're not telling us the truth, I can't be held to their numbers", Horgan said when asked whether an NDP government would promise not to introduce any additional taxes other than those in the platform.

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