THE BC Liberals on Tuesday alleged that the NDP has plans for a fall 2020 election – right when a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit.
In a recording obtained by the BC Liberals from a June 9 NDP online campaign training event, Premier John Horgan tells participants: “The election could come at any time. This fall, next spring.” The training session was the first in an intensive two-week program focused on how to campaign during a pandemic, including tactics geared to a “socially-distant election”.
Recording of BC NDP June 9 training session (Fall election comment at 3:24 mark)
“The timing of the next election is entirely up to the NDP. If there’s a provincial election in fall 2020, it’s because John Horgan chooses to trigger one,” said Mary Polak, BC Liberal House Leader and MLA for Langley, pointing out that the next election is not scheduled to take place until October 16, 2021. “If John Horgan wants an election this fall, he needs to explain to British Columbians why the NDP’s political agenda is more important than their health, safety, and economic recovery.”
With the timing of the next election in the hands of the NDP, the BC Liberals said they have been focused on preparing for a campaign that could come anytime – nominating new candidates at an aggressive pace and steadily closing the fundraising gap with the NDP.
However, in a letter sent to all major political parties on April 22, Elections BC cited guidance from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that “elections represent a significant public health risk, and…should be deferred until such time in the future that they can safely be held.”
“The BC Liberals will be ready to fight an election anytime John Horgan decides to trigger it — but we believe the health and safety of British Columbians is way more important than political games.” said Emile Scheffel, BC Liberal Executive Director. “That’s why we’re calling on John Horgan to rule out an election this fall — or clearly tell British Columbians why he believes partisan politics should take priority over beating the virus and getting BC on track for economic recovery.”
The BC Liberals said they will add a fourth new candidate to their renewed team on Wednesday, as mail-in ballots are counted from a nomination race in Oak Bay-Gordon Head.