New Democrats deliver real results in Horgan’s first year as leader

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May 4, 2015

VICTORIA – One year after becoming Leader of the Opposition, John Horgan heads a united and energized B.C. New Democrat caucus.

“B.C. families need a break,” Horgan said. “I hear this everywhere I go from people in their workplaces, in their schools and in their living rooms, in every region of British Columbia.”

In the legislature and in communities around the province, New Democrats have won a series of victories for families struggling to make ends meet under a Liberal government that puts its friends and insiders first.

“Our New Democrat team has stood up for the people of British Columbia and gotten them some real relief,” Horgan said. “Some people say we’ve found our stride and we’re hitting home runs, but I know we’re just getting started. I am determined that we will continue to make a difference in the lives of young people, families and seniors in B.C.”


Over the past 12 months, John Horgan and the B.C. New Democrats have delivered real results

Ended the clawback of support from B.C.’s poorest children – New Democrats worked to help single moms speak out about the clawback of child support payments from single parents living on income assistance or disability – and won.

Exposed Christy Clark’s do-nothing pet project: the Auditor General for Local Government – New Democrats shone a bright light on Christy Clark’s pet project, which has been in complete chaos since being created two years ago. After wasting more than $5 million for less than a handful of reports, the auditor has been fired, everyone has hired a lawyer and the costs to B.C. taxpayers continue to pile up.

Exposed public land giveaway – New Democrats exposed the 2014 public asset fire-sale as a multi-million dollar giveaway despite Liberal previous promises they would get top dollar. In just one area of the Lower Mainland where property sales are skyrocketing, the Liberals sold public land to a Liberal donor at $43 million less than the appraised value, in a mad rush to get money in the bank before the fiscal year end.

Exposed the dubious dealings of Minister Amrik Virk – Minister Amrik Virk was shuffled out of his Advanced Education post after New Democrats exposed his highly questionable decisions while on the board of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Ended the use of Liberal lobbyists by public universities – Public universities will no longer hire Liberal-connected lobbyists to try and influence the Liberal government after instruction from the new Minister for Advanced Education. The move came after the NDP highlighted several universities who have used this expensive practice in recent years.

Ended a proposal that would silence NGOs – New Democrats campaigned against a B.C. Liberal proposal as part of changes to the Societies Act that would allow special interests to silence organizations from speaking about an issue. The Liberals abandoned the plan.

Pediatric cancer survivors clinic created – last spring in the legislature New Democrats called for a specialized program to support people suffering from “late effects” of the treatment they received for childhood cancer and this year the government introduced one.

An apology for the family of Roderick MacIsaac – New Democrats worked to get an apology from the government for its treatment of fired health researchers that led to researcher Roderick MacIsaac to take his own life. The government was also forced to conduct a review into the matter, but British Columbians are still waiting for answers.

Defended flu shots for seniors – After the government canceled flu clinics at seniors’ centres across the Lower Mainland with no notice, New Democrat leader John Horgan advocated for the Liberals to reverse the uncaring policy. The B.C. Liberals admitted they were wrong and reversed course.

Providing needed leadership on agriculture – New Democrats, together with Independent MLA Vicki Huntington, are providing a much needed forum for the agricultural industry to share its ideas and concerns at the legislature by establishing the Opposition Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Made party buses safer – New Democrats lobbied the government for stronger regulations to better regulate the party bus industry and better protect the lives of young people.

Made government blink on hunter allocation – After the government announced higher allocation for the G.O.B.C. in December 2014 and after much name calling and abuse of the voters, the government began to backtrack in January.

Christmas dinners for seniors – Trillium Lodge and other seniors’ facilities were instructed to allow all residents to bring family members to Christmas dinner after issue was raised in fall sitting by opposition NDP.

Democratic reform – Under John Horgan’s leadership, New Democrats have proposed an extensive package of reforms that would help make elections fairer and ensure legislators do a better job for the public, make government more accountable, and give citizens more power. Horgan has also committed to asking British Columbians if they want to move to a proportional representation system in time for the 2021 election.

Justice for families of Babine Mill explosion victims – New Democrats worked with families in Burns Lake to press the B.C. Coroner to hold the inquest into the tragedy in Burns Lake. Officials planned to conduct the hearings in Prince George along with the Lakeland Mill explosion inquest, cutting families of the Babine disaster off from the proceedings. While only a full public inquiry will truly get to the bottom of what happened, holding the Coroner’s inquest in Burns Lake will help ensure the victims and their families can participate.

Returning Grace Islet to First Nations – New Democrat MLA stood side-by-side with First Nations to demand the B.C. government stop the construction of a luxury home on a First Nations burial site on Grace Islet, just off Salt Spring Island.

Stopped punishing fees for small mining operations – New Democrats raised the alarm that a new B.C. Liberal mining permit fee would unfairly affect junior miners, placer miners and prospectors and run them off their claims. Under pressure from the Opposition, the government relented and created an exemption for small companies.

Ended discrimination of disabled passengers on northern ferry routes – New Democrat MLA’s advocacy led to end of discriminatory cabin pricing.