With the 2017 B.C. election just around the corner (Tuesday, May 9), we are taking a look at some of the key points of the B.C Liberals’ election platform.
What Christy Clark wants to do with your taxes
The Liberals and party leader Christy Clark are promising tax breaks and savings for British Columbians if they are elected. They are campaigning on a promise to keep British Columbia’s overall tax burden low.
They say they will reduce MSP premiums for middle-class residents (a family earning between $45,000 and $120,000 a year) by 50 per cent in January, which will be the first step towards eliminating MSP completely.
They are also promising to freeze personal income taxes for the next four years. And B.C.’s freeze on carbon tax will last until 2021.
For commuters, the Liberals are promising to create a tax credit for B.C. Ferries users.
The BC Liberals also want to implement a new tax credit for carsharing services, cut the small business tax rate to two per cent and eliminate the PST on electricity for businesses.
For seniors, they have promised to introduce an active seniors tax credit. For students, they are promising to maintain the back-to-school tax credit, the children’s fitness tax credit up to a maximum of $500 per child and the children’s fitness equipment tax credit. They also want to lower the interest rate on student loans.
For first time home buyers, they promised to raise the threshold of $400,000 to $500,000.
WATCH: BC Liberals release election platform:
The BC Liberals have promised to cap tolls for commuters on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges at $500 a year. The cap would also apply to the replaced Pattullo Bridge and the George Massey Tunnel Replacement once they are up and running.
The cap would apply to personal vehicles with a TReO decal. The Liberals estimate that non-business weekday drivers with a TReO decal can spend approximately $1,600 a year crossing the Port Mann Bridge.
They also estimate the toll caps, which would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, will cost the provincial government $30 million annually.
WATCH: BC Liberals promise to cap bridge tolls:
B.C.’s operating debt
The BC Liberals are promising to eliminate the province’s operating debt by 2012. It currently stands at billions of dollars.
The BC Liberals also say they will negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement with the United States, which has now expired.
Clark says the Liberals will work with the federal government to support workers, communities and forest companies.
Companies like Lyft and Uber will be welcome to operate in B.C. by December after much rumour and speculation.
WATCH: Uber is coming to Vancouver:
The BC Liberals are promising to complete the Site C dam, which will be the single largest infrastructure project in B.C. history. The party projects the dam will create thousands of jobs and generate power for the next 100 years.
The BC Liberals continue to campaign on their promise to bring natural gas to the province and will work towards getting three LNG facilities under construction by 2020.
The BC Liberals are promising to invest $3.2 billion in transportation infrastructure over the next three years.
This will include phase three of the Cariboo Connector, between Prince George and Cache Creek, improvements to the Alex Fraser Bridge, interchange upgrades at Lower Lynn Creek, widening Highway 7 in Kelowna and upgrading the Malahat and Pat Bay Highway.
They are also promising to match the federal government investment in transit contributions of $333 million and match their investment of $2.2 billion in Metro Vancouver transit projects, such as Surrey LRT and the Broadway Line.
George Massey replacement bridge
The BC Liberals are set to complete the construction of the George Massey replacement bridge, which will be a 10-lane toll bridge. They estimate it will create 17,000 jobs during construction.
The new bridge will be built at the same location as the tunnel and is expected to cost $3.5 billion. It will have one transit/HOV lane and four lanes for general traffic in each direction.
WATCH: The future of the George Massey Tunnel:
The BC Liberals are promising to create another 5,000 childcare spaces this year. They also want to work with the federal government on their plan to expand the number of childcare spaces and increase investment in childcare to $352.5 million.