BC Premier Christy Clark campaigned through the East Kootenay this past Sunday, April 30, visiting Invermere, Fairmont, Kimberley, and Cranbrook. During her stop in Kimberley, she shook hands with locals and made a latte with the staff at Timber Hitch in Marysville.
“We have been so far today to Invermere, to Fairmont Hot Springs, now Kimberley, there’s a lot of support this time. I was up here during the last election as well, and I’ve been up here a lot as you know, between elections, and I have just seen that support grow,” said Clark.
Clark described the support in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding to be different from four years ago in the 2013 provincial election when the BC NDP were also ahead in the polls, but the Liberals came through on election night.
“It feels completely different here than it did four years ago, and I think there are a couple of differences,” said Clark. “One, I think people believe that we can win this riding. Two, I think that we have an incredible candidate in Doug (Clovechok), who has been working for four years, you know, for free basically. People feel like it’s time to give him a paycheque for all of the work that he’s doing anyway. And the third thing is, this riding, people here really care about jobs. There have been some down times. There used to be a lot of people voting NDP, because they thought the NDP cared about jobs. Well it’s so obvious now that John Horgan does not care about working people.”
“I think what people are doing is saying they want to vote for their own best interests, their own families, they want to vote for jobs, and Doug Clovechok is the only choice in that calculation,” said Clark.
Clark also took the opportunity to speak about small businesses, and the concerns of job protection and creation among voters.
“The thing about small business is, it’s the backbone of our economy. You know that in Kimberley for sure, where this used to be a mining town. It’s been the small business driven, tourism oriented sector that’s really rescued a lot of jobs here,” said Clark.
“It’s so important that we pay attention to small business; we are cutting the small business tax rate, we’re cutting the PST on electricity for businesses, we have cut red tape faster than any other place, I would argue, in North America. All of that is small business friendly. We need businesses like this one [Timber Hitch] to succeed. [There are] not a lot of jobs in any one place, but there are so many places, it’s like 50 percent of the payroll in British Columbia.”
In terms of securing jobs in the East Kootenay when it comes to forestry, Clark said she “doesn’t care” what the United Steelworkers of the United States have to say.
“I would say two things about this area; the Steelworkers union, which has John Horgan on a very short leash, stood with Donald Trump when he called our forestry industry a disgrace. What did John Horgan say about getting a softwood deal? He said, good luck with that. Well we know why now. His primary funders are the guys that are working with Donald Trump to wreck our forest industry here.
“The second thing is, we are going to ban the movement of thermal coal through British Columbia. That’s going to open up more space for metallurgical coal, for workers in the Elk Valley, because companies will be able to move more of their product. The NDP haven’t said a word about that; it’s just been crickets. We are going to fight for jobs. I don’t care what the United Steelworkers of the United States have to say, John Horgan apparently does; he is compromised when it comes to fighting for jobs. I am not, and I am going to make sure working people get a square deal in our province.”
Advanced polls are already open for voters, and election night is Tuesday, May 9.