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How will Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates handle the upcoming recession?

We sent MLA candidates your election questions. Here's what we heard.
Shalu Mehta October 21, 2020

How will you handle the upcoming recession? That’s a question we at The Discourse heard from you after we launched a poll asking what you think should top the B.C. election agenda. Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat of the election conversation because we believe you should guide it, not the candidates or parties.

Leading up to the election we are publishing answers to questions you sent. Today, the question is : What will you do to lower taxes?

As of Oct. 19, The Discourse received answers from two of the four candidates via email. BC Liberal Party candidate RJ Senko will not be responding to questions due to his full schedule, according to a spokesperson from the BC Liberal team. The Discourse reached out to Independent candidate Desta McPherson over Facebook – since no other contact information could be found – but has not heard back yet. This story will be updated if additional responses come in.

I’ll be rotating the candidates’ order of responses with each story we publish. Here are their responses. I’ve copied them directly from the emails they sent.

Andy MacKinnon, BC Green Party

We will financially support workers and businesses, and will use any upcoming recessions as opportunities to rebuild our economy for a green, low-carbon future.

Mitzi Dean, BC New Democratic Party

We know people are worried about their health, the health of their family and friends, and about the future. COVID-19 has had tough financial impacts on many people. We’re committed to building an economic recovery that includes everyone. 

A new recovery investment fund will deliver about $3 billion a year – above and beyond our existing $23 billion in new capital commitments over three years – to drive new growth and investment. The funding will be used in communities all over the province to build new schools, hospitals, child care spaces, roads and transit, and more – creating an expected 18,000 new jobs every year.

We’re committed to delivering local jobs and community benefits, and believe that public projects should benefit local workers and their communities. So wherever possible, we will attach our Community Benefits Agreement (CBAs) to projects launched through the Recovery Investment Fund. Through CBAs, we’re providing good jobs, fair wages, and skills training to qualified local workers – particularly those who have traditionally been under-represented in the workforce.

Our Economic Recovery Plan is delivering much-needed help through a range of measures including a 15 per cent refundable tax credit and $300 million in recovery grants to support about 15,000 small and medium-sized businesses who’ve been hardest hit by COVID-19. The plan will also provide a temporary 100% PST rebate on select machinery and equipment that will help eligible businesses make the kinds of investments they need to solidify their operations and then grow.

Further reading:

  • The BC Liberal Party platform can be found online and mentions eliminating the Provincial Sales Tax for a year, eliminating Small Business Income Tax and appointing an independent fair tax commission to review all provincial taxes. There is also a pledge to subsidize child care, implementing a new tax credit for seniors, reducing ICBC rates and investing in infrastructure improvements to create jobs.
  • Affordability and equity and an inclusive economy are two sections in the BC Green Party platform. The party pledges to maintain child care subsidies, begin a transition towards basic income, tackle affordable housing, create a six month rent subsidy program for small businesses, work with the tourism and hospitality sector to ensure they survive post-COVID-19 and more.
  • Jobs, economy, affordability and COVID-19 are all “commitments” listed in the BC NDP platform online. The platform highlights investments that were made to help people through the pandemic such as rent relief and deferred tax payments as well as an economic recovery plan. Affordable housing, child care, ICBC, a clean energy economy, help for small businesses and job training for a changing economy are all things the party has pledged to tackle as well.