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NDP question Clark's Point Grey announcements

This morning Premier Christy Clark made a $6.7 million housing announcement in a constituency where she just happens to be running as a candidate in a by-election.

In question period, New Democratic Party MLA Doug Routley asked about Clark using government resources for what looks like electioneering. "I would think an abundance of caution would be in order for this government," Routley observed in asking whether Elections B.C. had been consulted.

"The Premier is making announcements on behalf of government, as she should," responded Labour and Citizens' Services Minister Stephanie Cadieux. "She is the leader of this province."

Clark's announcement this morning was for a four-storey, 30-unit housing development for seniors and people with disabilities to be built at 8th Avenue and Vine Street. In March she announced the restoration of gaming grants at West Side Family Place, which is also in the constituency.

There appears to be a disproportionate number of announcements being made in Point Grey, said David Eby, who has taken a leave as the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association to run for the NDP in the by-election.

"I think the premier has a responsibility that's different from the responsibility of a candidate in an election," Eby said. Clark should avoid the appearance that she's using public dollars to campaign, he said.

"I think it's clear why they're doing it, and I think it's clear to the voters of Point Grey," said NDP leader Adrian Dix. "The government has failed to act on these issues for years. Suddenly the premier needs votes next week and they start to claim to act."

The tactics are "transparently self-interested," he said. "What we need in Vancouver-Point Grey and everywhere else is an MLA who will fight for the people of Vancouver-Point Grey not just when they need votes in six days, but every day."

The NDP's Eby will be that kind of MLA, Dix said.

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

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