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B.C. opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson addresses Kelowna business community

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B.C. Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson made a lot of promises during a luncheon hosted by the business community on Tuesday.

“Asset taxes like the phony NDP school tax and the phony NDP speculation tax are going to disappear if we form government,” Wilkinson said in his speech.

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“Our government would get rid of their speculation tax because it has nothing to do with speculation and everything to do with taxing retirement,” he added.

The luncheon was hosted by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Development Institute.

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Luncheon emcee and Troika Developments CEO Renee Wasylyk said she was happy to hear a definitive promise to scrap the speculation tax.

“We as developers are getting hit from all directions,” she said.

“We’re down 29 per cent in revenue in the Kelowna CMA area in the month of December. That’s catastrophic.”

Other commitments from Wilkinson include a promise to tackle low rental vacancy rates and to do more to try to eradicate the opioid crisis.

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Wilkinson largely stuck to a campaign-style message.

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“We’ve got to start talking about a positive agenda. We all know there’s a byelection underway in Nanaimo that could trigger a general election later this year,” he said.

“The B.C. Liberal Party is fundamentally about answering Ronald Reagan’s question,” he added. “It’s saying that spirit of enterprise that built the Okanagan to be the fantastic place it is to live and work today, that has to be rewarded.”