BC parties begin election race to May 9 finish

It was all a prelude to the provincial election campaign, which will officially begin today when Liberal Leader Christy Clark asks the lieutenant governor to dissolve her government.

Its message: "Christy Clark's BC Liberals".

But she quickly zeroed in on her opponents, warning that the NDP's free-spending ways would drive the province into deficit.

Clark campaigned in 2013 on promises of a debt-free B.C. fuelled by the job-creating LNG industry. "We don't want to throw this all away. They would scrap projects that create thousands of jobs for working people and they would push B.C. families to the brink". The NDP is pointing to years of turmoil, while the Liberals say they have brought stability to classrooms.

Horgan pledged to make B.C. more affordable by freezing BC Hydro rates and eliminating tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.

Linda Hepner says the proposals could have big ramifications for local planning.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver, the first member of his party to win a seat in a provincial legislature, is asking voters who are exhausted of the status quo to give his party a chance, promising a revamped economic plan that encourages growth in emerging business sectors while protecting the environment. The New Democrats took in less that half that total at $6.2 million.

"Why do you need more than two NDP MLAs?"

The Greens have said they would not change tolling as it stands if elected. Former Olympic rower and silver medallist Dave Calder, who is running for the Liberals in Saanich South, played host to the event that drew Liberal candidates from across southern Vancouver Island.

When it comes to the money in British Columbians' pockets, she says the B.C. Liberals will ensure it stays there.

The Liberals had announced over the weekend that drivers would pay no more than $500 a year on the now tolled Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, as well as on the future Pattullo Bridge and the bridge to replace the George Massey tunnel. The government imposed a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver to help cool the market and restore hope that home ownership was still achievable for those who feared they couldn't afford to live in their communities. "The feedback that I'm getting from people is that it's a bit of a slap in the face and it seems like an unfair way for government to act".

"The NDP has a very slight lead - two per cent over the BC Liberals".

Child care: The NDP is promising $10-a-day daycare based on Quebec's system as one the major planks in its campaign.

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