NDP leader John Horgan took his party’s election campaign to the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference Sept. 24 in lieu of what was billed as the premier’s address.
Horgan had called a snap election Sept. 21 on the first day of the annual meeting of the province’s leaders.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away soon and that the province needs leadership in the next four years of recovery.
“Let’s get the politics behind us,” he said. “Let’s have a vigorous debate. Let’s get the issues on the table.”
He said voters have no need to worry about going to the polls.
“There will be more plexiglass than you can imagine in voting places,” he said in conversation with Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal, a past UBCM president.
And, with thousands already having requested mail-in ballots, Horgan said he expects such a form of voting could become a fixture in future trips to the polls.
Both Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau in their UBCM speeches called the election unnecessary.
Furstenau was critical of Horgan’s calling the election on the convention’s first day, saying meetings between delegates and cabinet ministers are critical in the province.
Horgan said those meetings are important, comparing the 15-minute sessions to speed-dating. He called such interactions vital to both ministers and the public service for knowing what is happening and important to the province’s regions.
However, he assured delegates the UBCM remains a vital part of the province’s life and a venue for discussion among levels of government.
“No one in our system has the hands on contact with people as you do,” he said.