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Opposition to NDP for good reason: Hochstein

The president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, Philip Hochstein, said despite reports to the contrary he remains opposed to election advertising gag laws.

On Monday the Province newspaper reported that Hochstein “has no problem” with the bill the B.C. Liberals brought in to restrict third party advertising in the 60 days before the provincial election. “Those are the rules of the game,” the paper quoted him saying.

But in an interview today Hochstein said he was misinterpreted. “I don't like the rules, but we're going to live with them,” he said. “We don't support the rules, [but] we're going to abide by them and live with them.”

The Tyee yesterday quoted the NDP's Leonard Krog saying Hochstein's apparent conversion was “purely about partisan politics."

The ICBA's opposition to the NDP goes beyond partisanship, Hochstein said. “When the NDP was in power in the '90s they tried to drive my members out of business,” he said. “The NDP seemed intent on really crushing small construction companies.”

In particular, he said, the ICBA didn't like legislation that allowed unions to suspend a worker's pension and a policy that required companies bidding on public contracts to be unionized. “They forced people to join the union,” he said.

“It just wasn't good for the province,” he said. “It's not about hanging onto power. It's about protecting ourselves from an NDP government that was intent on driving small family owned construction companies out of business.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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