‘Out of touch’ NDP plans fall, say Liberals and Greens at end of spring session

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VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties walked out of the legislature Thursday saying Premier John Horgan’s New Democrats have lost touch with the realities facing the province and its people, while predicting the electoral defeat of the government on a

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties walked out of the legislature Thursday saying Premier John Horgan’s New Democrats have lost touch with the realities facing the province and its people, while predicting the government’s electoral defeat in the face of a plan to replace museums.

A four-month spring session, where health, affordability and the provincial museum project were dominant issues, ended in tense exchanges in the Legislative Assembly.

Liberal Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon said the NDP’s decision to go ahead with the $789 million Royal BC Museum project would become the “death warrant” of the government.

“Mind me, Friday, May 13 is the day the NDP really signed its own death warrant as a political party,” Falcon said at a post-session press conference at his office. ‘Legislative Assembly.

May 13 is the day Horgan announced the government’s plan to demolish and rebuild the museum, which has since become the subject of daily attacks from liberals, who call the plan the ‘vanity legacy project’. of the prime minister.

“If they go ahead, it will be their fast ferries and it will bring down their government,” Falcon said, referring to the former NDP government’s fast ferry shipbuilding program in the late 1960s. 1990, which had resulted in cost overruns and delays, and even when completed the ships proved unsuitable for travel between the mainland and Vancouver Island.

Falcon was elected leader last February and served in the Legislative Assembly this month after winning a by-election in Vancouver-Quilchena.

The next provincial election is expected to take place in the fall of 2024.

Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said Horgan and the government failed to understand what residents face in the province.

She accused the Prime Minister and the government during Question Period of talking more than working on preventative measures since last year’s disastrous fires, floods and landslides.

“We certainly hear a lot about this government committing to something in the future. But we don’t hear a lot about the results,” she said.

Lytton has been largely destroyed by fire, farms have been flooded, crops destroyed, many people cannot afford housing and there is a shortage of family doctors in British Columbia, but the government always welcomes its efforts to help people, Furstenau said.

“They’re out of touch with the realities that British Columbians live in,” she said. “This government has made gaslighting its organizing principle of communications. What people expect from this government is to recognize the reality they live in.”

Furstenau asked if Horgan could “be honest about the situation in this province.”

NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth accused Furstenau of undermining Horgan’s integrity.

Horgan was not in the legislature.

“I think to question the integrity of any member of this house, especially the prime minister, through a rambling statement, without questioning, quite frankly, I find offensive,” Farnworth said.

He said that on health, education, transportation and other issues, “this government is working every day to improve the lives of British Columbians.”

The government has passed nearly two dozen new bills, including legislation that will lead to a cooling off period for homebuyers navigating the province’s high-pressure real estate environment.

Farnworth said that outside the legislature, the government has passed a people and family-focused budget that provides support in these difficult times.

“I’m confident our government is doing everything it can to address the issues that matter to most British Columbians,” he said.

The session also saw the legislature return to its pre-COVID-19 operations of face-to-face interactions after two years of virtual press conferences and hybrid sittings.

Horgan was a regular presence in the legislature after undergoing cancer treatment late last year, but he missed some time this spring after contracting COVID-19.

The session also saw Horgan use an expletive in a heated exchange with opposition Liberals, although he later apologized for his use of the F-word.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 2, 2022.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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