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NDP leadership hopeful opposed to coal mine
After being in public life for more than a quarter century, John Horgan wanted the chance not only to talk to New Democrats, but to talk over New Democrats.
Horgan, who is the MLA for Juan de Fuca, decided to enter the NDP leadership race when “there was a simultaneous meltdown of leaders in both parties. It was a chance to talk to members of the other party, and not be scared,” he said during a phone interview.
The leadership nominee was in the Comox Valley last week speaking with supporters and listening to the concerns of citizens.
“A lot of issues (across the Island) are the same, but the big issue (in the Valley) is the Raven Coal Mine project ... it came up first along with other ones, which are the bread and butter for the Comox Valley community,” he noted.
The former critic for energy, mines and petroleum resources said if the decision was up to him, the coal mine project would not go ahead.
“There are better opportunities for other economic development in the community,” he said.
In addition to the project, Horgan added a variety of concerns were brought forth, including affordable housing, taxes, the medical services plan and hydro rates.
He noted if elected, he would propose a fair tax commission within 90 days consisting of academics, labour leaders and members of the community to examine where the province gets its revenue from, and examine both corporate and personal tax.
Horgan stressed the need for the private sector to create jobs, and the importance of improving healthcare in B.C.
With the two major parties holding leadership races at the same time, Horgan notes the races “create a contrast in style and leadership, which is good.”
He also emphasized the role the NDP and Liberals have to work together — not against — to bring ideas into fruition.
“I want to tear down polarization because no one has a monopoly on good ideas. The two sides should be realigned to listen to Canadians,” Horgan added.
For more information on Horgan’s leadership bid, visit www.horganforbc.ca.