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BC NDP platform axes carbon tax, ups spending on health, education

A B.C. New Democratic Party government would scrap the carbon tax, give small businesses a one-year “tax holiday”, raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour and freeze post-secondary tuition fees.

The measures are included in a 46-page election platform document NDP leader Carole James released in Burnaby this morning.

The platform also promises smaller classes, more police, more prosecutors, greater environmental protection, 3,000 new long-term care beds for seniors, reduced transit fares and more accountability at B.C. Ferries. There would be more money for housing, park programming, women's centres, anti-violence programs, the arts and tourism.

An accompanying 10-page appendix on “strategic investments” says implementing the NDP platform would add a “modest and affordable” $1.465 billion in debt this year to what the Liberal government has already projected, and $1.557 billion in 2010-2011.

The platform promises reduced deficits and a balanced budget in the fourth year of the plan.

The provincial budget the Liberals presented in February planned for two years of deficits with a balanced budget in 2011-2012. The NDP platform calls that plan “wishful thinking” and “political posturing”.

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

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