Independent
journalism that swims
against the current.
News
BC Election 2017
BC Politics

Horgan Makes Appeal to Workers: People of BC ‘Deserve Better’

NDP leader lays out series of election promises at BC Fed convention.

Linda Givetash 30 Nov 2016TheTyee.ca

Linda Givetash is a Vancouver-based journalist reporting on health and human rights across Canada and around the globe. She is reporting on the 2016 BC Fed convention for The Tyee.

Appealing to union workers to back his campaign in the upcoming provincial election, BC NDP leader John Horgan made a series of promises Tuesday — from increasing the minimum wage to defending the province against the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Horgan laid out his party’s plans to improve the lives of middle class families and those under the poverty line during his address to the BC Federation of Labour convention yesterday.

“We need to make sure the balance is brought back to our system,” he said.

A number of the party’s promises align with priorities of the BC Fed, including a $15 per hour minimum wage, putting more resources toward public schools, and revamping provincial labour laws.

Horgan said that the 15 years of Liberal leadership has resulted in higher fees and rates for everything from hydro to tuition, and he intends to reverse policies that have made the province unaffordable for the average family.

“(Premier) Christy Clark cares about two things, and you’re not one of them,” he said, adding that the BC Liberals’ priorities are their wealthy donors and staying in power.

“The people of British Columbia deserve better than that.”

Move to fight asbestos

Focusing on workers’ rights, Horgan announced new plans to create a mandatory contract licensing and certification program for contractors who conduct asbestos removal.

A provincial registry of public buildings known to have asbestos will also be created to better inform workers, he said.

“No one should go to work and put themselves at risk ever,” Horgan told the convention.

According to a news release from the BC Fed, an estimated 145,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at their workplace annually and more than 2,000 people are diagnosed with fatal asbestos-related cancers and other diseases.

The BC Fed has been lobbying for similar safety measures pertaining to asbestos removal for a year.

The current government’s failure to act on the issue is symbolic of how the BC Liberals are failing workers, said federation president Irene Lanzinger in the news release.

Horgan’s commitment to impose safety measures was welcomed by the federation, as were his plans to create more jobs “in every corner of the province.”

Horgan blasts Kinder Morgan approval

Following his speech, Horgan told reporters that the federal government’s decision Tuesday to approve Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline is not in the best interest for the community and the province.

While the decision signals job creation, Horgan said there are other ways to create good jobs in the region, such as investing in transit and transportation that would put 43,000 people to work.

The NDP leader blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for going against the campaign promises that got him elected.

“He said quite clearly that social license does not come from Ottawa it comes from communities. Clearly he hasn’t been in Burnaby in a little while,” Horgan said.

Horgan also criticized Premier Christy Clark for passing the authority of pipeline approval to the federal government and failing to stand up for the public’s opinion on the issue.

An NDP government would look at every mechanism to defend B.C.’s coast from the pipeline project, Horgan said, while pursing a power plan that would develop more clean energy such as wind and solar.

The BC Federation of Labour will announce its political action plan on Wednesday ahead of the province’s spring election. The convention continues until Friday.  [Tyee]

  • Share:

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.

Do:

  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Where Are You Feeling Inflation the Most?

Take this week's poll