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October 27, 2017 5:50 pm

Q & A with Candidates – Part Two

Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

250News sent  a series of 9 questions to each of the candidates running in the two Prince George ridings.The questions were  emailed to the candidates on April 13th, with  instructions that responses were to be received  by a deadline  of 1 p.m.  on Friday April 21st.

Candidates were asked that if their responses  included a funding component, that the source of that funding be identified.

Prince George – Valemount  candidate  Nan Kendy (Green) missed the deadline for responses.

250News published the first  segment of this series on Monday ( click here ).  All questions  and responses are being published in their entirety.

Question #3

Where  do you stand on balanced  budgets?

Prince George-Valemount:

Liberal Candidate Shirley Bond:

I believe in disciplined fiscal management and balanced budgets.  We currently lead the country with the strongest economy, a AAA credit rating and 5 balanced budgets in a row.  Balancing a provincial budget requires the same kind of tough decisions it takes to balance your own personal budget. We are committed to 4 more balanced budgets.

Our focus is on growing the economy and creating jobs while controlling spending, so we can invest in the important services and programs that British Columbians expect and deserve.

We are not prepared to make reckless spending promises that would result in growing our operating debt and end up with more taxpayer dollars going toward interest payments rather than on priorities that matter to British Columbians.

NDP Candidate Natalie Fletcher:

We are strongly in favour of balanced budgets. Our budget is balanced for three years, something confirmed by independent economists. This follows on pattern going back to Tommy Douglas, who ran balanced budgets during some of the worst periods for the economy in Canada.

Meanwhile, Christy Clark has added $11 billion to the debt, 30 per cent more than all the debt accumulated in the 1990s.

Prince George-Mackenzie:

Green Party Candidate Hilary Crowley:

Balanced budgets are always the desire as in everyone’s private finances. However if the system is so broken that it needs serious overhaul then this needs to be done with the plan to return to balanced budget as soon as possible.

NDP Candidate Bobby Deepak:

Our plan is costed and as confirmed by reputed economists, it’s balanced for the next three years. Unlike Christy Clark – who campaigned in 2013 with a bus that said “debt-free” and then increased the debt by $11 billion – we will balance the books without making seniors suffer in under-staffed residential care homes, without making patients wait for years for MRIs and without leaving kids in overcrowded classrooms.

Liberal Candidate Mike Morris:

This was one of the reasons I ran for office in 2013. I don’t want my grandchildren paying for the overindulgence of previous governments. There is a need, and there will always be a need, to do more in every area whether social, educational, public safety, health, transportation or any other area government provides a service to the people. All of these critical areas will be addressed within the confines of prudent fiscal management and will ultimately increase as our economy grows stronger.

Question #4:

How do you suggest child care  be made  more affordable?

Prince George-Valemount:

Liberal Candidate Shirley Bond:

Finding high quality, affordable and accessible child care is an issue for many young families. Our priority is to create more child care spaces.  Since 2014, we have added 4,300 more spaces through our Early Years Strategy.  We will be increasing our investment in childcare by $352.5 million.  This will allow us to create another 5000 new spaces which will put us on track to meet our goal of 13,000 new spaces by 2020. By increasing spaces, we will reduce waitlists and at the same time ensure that there are enough child care workers to provide the quality service that parents expect.

$90 million of the funding will be available for operating expenses to keep child care costs more affordable.  We will also invest $120 million each year for the Child Care Subsidy program that helps 20,000 families with the cost of child care each month.

We do not support a universal daycare program that would see taxpayers subsidize even the most wealthy British Columbians who would qualify for funding.

NDP Candidate Natalie Fletcher:

Too many parents are left with untenable choices around daycare. In some cases, parents find it costs them more money to pay child care than they make working full time, and then make the choice to work part time to save money.

All families who want child care should have access to affordable child care. We have a plan to introduce $10/day childcare to all kids in BC. It will pay for itself in increased government revenue resulting from increased economic activity.

Prince George-Mackenzie:

Green Candidate Hilary Crowley:

The Green Party would provide free child care.

NDP Candidate Bobby Deepak:

Families in Prince George-Mackenzie are paying up to $1500 a month or even more for child care for 2 children – if they can find the space.  Christy Clark has ignored the child care crisis in northern BC and throughout BC for years. We have a plan for $10 a day child care, because we know that affordable child care is vital for parents, for kids and for the economy. Respected independent analysis shows that affordable child care would result in an additional 2.8 per cent employment – in B.C., that’s nearly 70,000 jobs. With that kind of economic potential, it would pay for itself, through increased employment and economic activity. Our plan puts families ahead, creates thousands of jobs, boosts the economy and allows more surplus income to be spent in the economy for small business – and economy that works for you! It will allow everyday people to save up for a down payment on a home, a car or for their children’s future education and allow them to pursue their dream of getting an education or career.

Liberal Candidate Mike Morris:

By increasing the number of child care spaces. Since 2014, we’ve added over 4300 new childcare spaces and we’ve committed to add another 5000 spaces in our 2017 budget. By 2020, we anticipate adding a total of 13,000 new spaces. We will also ensure there are enough child care workers to provide a safe and caring environment for children in child care.


The Series of  Questions and Answers continues on Monday, May 1st.





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