Premier-designate David Eby released a 100-day action plan Friday, paid tribute to outgoing Premier John Horgan and extended an olive branch to his disqualified leadership opponent and her followers.
“I can’t wait to get started,” the new NDP leader said from the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver. “I am humbled and a little bit overwhelmed by this moment.”
In his first 100 days as premier, Eby committed to launching initiatives to “significantly expand” affordable housing, create safer communities, redirect fossil-fuel subsidies to clean energy projects and improve access to health care.
“At the end of those 100 days, you will have seen announcements — activity from government — focused on delivering results for British Columbians that set out the groundwork for how in the next two years we are going to deliver significant change for British Columbians,” said the MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, who committed to sticking to a 2024 provincial election date.
Eby also addressed the problem of random violent crimes committed by repeat offenders released on bail, saying “no tools are off the table to address this issue.”
The lawyer and former Attorney General says the criminal justice system is not responding the way it needs to to ensure public safety, and committed to addressing the causes of the chaos, citing homelessness, addiction and mental-health issues.
On the crisis in health care, one of the biggest issues on the minds of British Columbians, Eby noted that through wife Cailey Lynch, a family physician, he has intimate knowledge of the challenges facing the health-care system and some of the needed fixes.
“I’ve got a health-care advisor at home,” said Eby. Through seeing Lynch, previously a registered nurse, train to become a family doctor, Eby said he witnessed the “profound barriers that new medical students face to taking on a traditional family practice” and promised to address them.
Eby also committed to addressing the hurdles for international doctors seeking accreditation to work in Canada. “There is no reason why someone with the skills of a surgeon should be doing maintenance at the local high school,” he said. “These are the issues we need to address that I’m excited to address and I will.”
Eby said all of his actions will require meaningful partnerships with First Nations, municipal and regional partners as well as non-profits, service providers, and homebuilders.
He also brought up climate change, saying governments cannot continue to subsidize fossil fuels and expect clean energy to “manifest somehow.”
“We’ve seen the floods, the heat dome, the forest fires that cause all British Columbians not just to be worried about their kids’ future but to be worried about our present and the impacts of climate change,” Eby said, adding: “We need to be leaders on this issue.”
Eby praised Horgan, saying he has “left a legacy that will be remembered for a very, very long time.”
He also paid tribute to his only challenger for the leadership, Anjali Appadurai, who was disqualified from the leadership race by the 41-member provincial NDP executive.
“I want to take a moment to thank Anjali for coming forward with focus on an issue that matters to me, that matters to British Columbians, that matters to people around the world — the issue of climate change — and all the people who joined the party to support Anjali and that vision.”
Eby said he looks forward forward to working with Anjali and her followers.
“I understand she’s keeping her membership card and I’m thrilled because I look forward to working with Anjali and the people who signed up and who care about these issues,” said Eby.
“Simply because the leadership race is over does not mean that these issues go away. [It] does not mean we don’t need to address these issues.”
To young climate activists who are committed to that issue, “you are a vital part of the future of our party. I welcome you I want to work with you,” said Eby.