It’s been a remarkably short election campaign, and as it comes to a close, we can’t help but be struck by how many promises have been made to the electorate.
COVID-19 has also shaped a great many of the major issues being discussed in the street. COVID has exposed huge fissures in seniors care. Federal stimulus money is the perfect opportunity for environmental proponents to push for spending those dollars on a green recovery. And then there are the people who are facing layoffs and job losses due to the pandemic. Some businesses in Cowichan have already succumbed to the pressures of the economic slump brought on by COVID.
The Liberals have promised a year-long holiday from the provincial sales tax in a bid to help people economically. They’ve also stated support for LNG development, creating new childcare spaces, support for the hard-hit tourism industry, and ending ICBC’s exclusive hold on part of the car insurance market in the province. Local candidate Tanya Kaul has promised her party will end fees for seniors who must get a medial exam to continue driving as they age.
The Greens, led by Cowichan’s own Sonia Furstenau, have promised a move towards a guaranteed basic income, as well as phasing out public funding for private long-term care facilities for seniors, a $1 billion innovation fund to shift to a zero carbon economy and $1 billion for mental health care.
The NDP, represented by Rob Douglas, has said they also want to phase out private seniors care in the province, provide free birth control to women who want it, and provide a direct payment up to $1,000 for B.C. residents as COVID stimulus. As the party in power, they’ve also touted commitments already made for the building of supportive housing in Cowichan, a new Cowichan District Hospital, and a new Cowichan Secondary school.
Whose promises tackle your most pressing issues? Be sure to take a look at our voter’s guide in this edition, take a closer look at the platforms, and make sure you cast your ballot this Saturday.