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UPDATED: B.C. Premier John Horgan calls early election

Voting day across the province is Oct. 24.

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B.C. Premier John Horgan is sending residents to the polls in an early election.

Voting day across the province is Saturday Oct. 24.

The NDP in the last week have been falling over themselves with funding announcements and candidate finalizations and on Monday morning Horgan visited Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin to ask for the election.

Horgan was also looking for a way to break his deal with the Green Party that put him in power.

He was mandated to ask for an election by September 2021. Both the NDP and Liberals ended the last election with 41 seats.

A poll out earlier this month showed Horgan with a massive lead over the opposition which may have led him to call an early election.

At a press conference in Langford, Horgan said the election was about having a “secure and stable” government to work its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The said the pandemic has “changed everything” and he “struggled mightily with the decision.

“We are far from being out of the pandemic…in fact this is just the start,” he said.

“To wait for the next (election period) seems to me to be time wasted.

“The future is bright…the present is challenging.”

But pollsters say the lead also comes with a warning.

“The New Democrats have opened a whopping 19-point lead over the opposition B.C. Liberals, with half of residents (48 per cent) saying they would cast votes for the party that has helmed a minority government for three years. The B.C. Liberals take 29 per cent of the decided and leaning vote, while the B.C. Greens are at 14 per cent of current vote intention,” polling group Angus Reid said.

“But against these sunny skies, dark clouds are forming on the horizon. The government is fighting a pitched battle with the union representing B.C. teachers as anxiety mounts over sending children back to school next week. The province is also continuing to fight – some would argue unsuccessfully – a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Indeed, fully one-in-three B.C. residents say they would not be comfortable heading to the polls in person this fall as they would during a normal year, due to concerns about the coronavirus. B.C. NDP feel this more acutely than those who support other parties, with two-in-five New Democrat supporters saying they would be uncomfortable going physically to the polls.”

Horgan said voters will have the opportunity to have mail-in ballots or advancing voting to increase safety during the pandemic.

“I believe it can be conducted safely,” he said.

Other key finding by Angus Reid include:

More Key Findings:

  • The NDP holds a commanding lead in Metro Vancouver, 53 per cent to 26 per cent over the Liberals, and also leads by nine-points in the rest of the province, 42 per cent to 33 per cent
  • Four-in-five residents (83 per cent) say the Horgan government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been “good”
  • By contrast, British Columbians are critical of its response to the opioid epidemic. Only 22 per cent of residents say the government has done a good job on this file, compared to 71 per cent who say they have done a poor job.

Poll results released Monday by Lean Toss show the NDP with 48 per cent of the vote which should result in winning 55 seats, an increase of 14.

Andrew Wilkinson’s Liberals are predicted to have 33 per cent, translating into 30 seats, a decrease of 13. The Sonia Furstenau Greens have 13 per cent and are likely to win one seat.

Lean Toss says chances of a NDP majority are at 98.9 per cent with a Liberal majority at 0.6 per cent.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Horgan leads NDP to majority government in B.C.

Preliminary results from Saturday’s election show the NDP turned its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority.

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John Horgan’s NDSP party now rules B.C. with a majority government.

Preliminary results from Saturday’s election show the NDP turned its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority.

More than 500,000 mail in ballots still have to be counted. Final results won’t be known for several weeks.

“B.C. has voted, and a majority has been called, but there are many many hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted,” Horgan said at a victory rally in Vancouver.

“While we wait for that final count to happen, I want to assure people that I’m going to keep the focus right where it belongs, on helping people get through this pandemic and making sure that they have the services that they need.”

“All British Columbians can sleep safely knowing that we’re going to do everything we can to keep them safe, healthy and secure.”

The Liberals won 29 seats and the Green party, three.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney says Albertans may get ‘multi-issues’ referendum

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the UCP could have multiple referendum questions for voters next year.

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections.

Speaking virtually to the UCP’s AGM on Saturday, Kenney said the party is also looking at adding other issues.

“I believe on the big consequential issues it’s right to go to the public,” kenney told 1,400 delegates who had signed up for the virtual convention.

He said a decision to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, a Senate election, constitutionally changing property rights and a provincial pension plan are some of the things Albertans may have a chance to vote on.

Kenney spent most of his speech hilighting UCP policies they have brought in, including scrapping the carbon tax and repealing Bill 6.

“We are one-third through our mandate and we have implemented two-thirds of our 261 election promises,” said Kenney.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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RCMP able to save ice-bound calf in northern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress

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For a B.C. Mountie, it was a very moo-ving rescue.

On Tuesday morning, RCMP were told about a young calf that had fallen through ice, into a slough along Farrell Creek Road, north east of Hudson’s Hope, in northeastern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress, said the RCMP in a release.

“It was obvious that the calf had been doing its best to stay afloat and was getting tired, however could not move forward or backwards due to the surrounding ice,” said the release.

“Thinking quickly, and using any means available to the officer, and some locals that had stopped to assist, the ice around the calf was broken. The very tired calf was able to be lassoed and brought to the edge and out of the slough to rest.”

When we suit up and start our shifts each day, we really never have any idea what our day on the front line will entail,” said Cpl. Rob Gardner.

The front line officer, who responded to the scene, did a great job thinking quickly and outside the box to work with some locals to break the ice and free the small calf. We’d like to thank all those who stopped to assist with this rescue.

The wet calf, who seemed un-injured during the ordeal.

Rescued calf. Courtesy RCMP

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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