The BC Liberal Party released its campaign platform on Monday, ahead of the provincial election on May 9, promising to freeze personal income tax rates for four years.
Among its 127 pages of infomation, the party makes plenty of promises to the BC tech sector, committing $87 million to the BC Tech Strategy, rising to $100 million by 2020.
As well, the platform includes plans to build an Innovation Hub in Robson Square, create more STEM post-secondary schools, and get Grades 6 to 9 coding.
And if elected, the BC Liberals say they will establish a presence in Seattle and expand US trade and investment offices in Silicon Valley.
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Transit and transportation
In terms of transit and transportation, the Liberals are pledging a tax credit for people who use carsharing services and a $500/year cap on toll bridge users.
The party is also promising people in ferry-dependent communities a tax credit and a loyalty program, with $1 million for WiFi services on board and in parking lots.
On top of that, the party is committing $2.2 billion for Metro Vancouver infrastructure and transit over the next 11 years and $333 million for BC Transit.
There is also a mention of increasing transit along the Sea-To-Sky, possibly introducing a commuter rail service along the way to Vancouver.
A replacement for the George Massey Bridge is also promised, as is a cap on ICBC rates at 4.9% and an independent review into the rates to limit future increases.
The Liberals have also committed to bringing ridesharing to BC by December and developing an app for the local taxi industry too.
More BC Liberal promises
The BC Liberals make a whole range of other promises in their platform. Here are a few more highlights:
- a freeze on carbon tax until 2021
- a decrease in the interest rate on student loans to prime
- $2.6 billion in capital spending on post-secondary institutions
- a new program to help single parents access training
- an extra $352.5 million for 13,000 new childcare spaces by 2020
- an increase for the first-time homebuyers exemption to $500,000
- the requirement for real-time disclosure of donations to political parties
- a review of proposals on political fundraising reform
- $175 million for parks and new campsites
- the construction of the Site C dam
- the establishment of April as Sikh heritage month in BC
- $165 million for youth mental health and substance abuse issues
- four years of balanced budgets to eliminate BC’s operating debt by 2021
- 50% discount on MSP premiums for households earning less than $120,000
- an unspecified increase to the minimum wage
- the establishment of a permanent office in Washington DC “to promote and protect BC trade interests”
To read the BC Liberals full campaign platform, check here: bcliberals.com/platform. The BC NDP and the BC Green Party are yet to release their campaign platforms.