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B.C. election 2020: Greens leader Furstenau set to unveil party platform Wednesday

Click to play video 'BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau set to release party platform' BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau set to release party platform
Following a strong debate performance, Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is set to release the BC Greens platform on Wednesday afternoon. – Oct 14, 2020

Hoping to build off the momentum from Tuesday night’s debate, BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau will be unveiling her party’s platform in New Westminster on Wednesday.

Furstenau was widely praised for her performance against the other leaders in the televised debate and is the only leader without a full platform already released ahead of the Oct. 24 vote.

Much of the Greens’ platform has already been released. The party is promising to provide up to $500 per month for families with children under three and a stay-at-home parent.

Read more: BC Liberals release platform with promise to allow ICBC competition, cut PST for a year

On top of that, the party is pledging to create a comprehensive program for child care and increase funding for child-care programs from $674 million in 2020-21 to $897 million in 2023-24. The Greens plan on integrating preschool for three- and four-year-olds into the school system.

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Furstenau has committed to exploring options for reduced work weeks or flexible work hours in consultation with business, labour and other stakeholders.

“For example, encouraging employers to adopt a 4-day work week, or reduced hours for a standard work week while maintaining full-time status to maintain benefits, or modified work week arrangements,” reads part of the Greens’ plan.

Click to play video '2020 B.C. Leaders post-debate special' 2020 B.C. Leaders post-debate special
2020 B.C. Leaders post-debate special – Oct 13, 2020

The BC Greens have promised to create a Renter’s Housing Grant that will help low- to moderate-income households pay rent when it’s more than 30 per cent of their income.

To help the tourism sector, the Greens are committing to allocate $300 million to create a six-month rent subsidy program for small businesses. For qualifying businesses, a Green government would cover 25 per cent of the rental costs.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan will be in the swing riding of Richmond-Queensborough to outline his party’s plan to improve long-term care.

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Horgan has promised to continue financially supporting the single-site policy, meaning long-term care workers can only work at one facility in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The NDP has started the process of hiring 7,000 new health-care workers in long-term care and assisted living.

Click to play video 'NDP leader John Horgan set to unveil Long Term Care policy on Wednesday' NDP leader John Horgan set to unveil Long Term Care policy on Wednesday
NDP leader John Horgan set to unveil Long Term Care policy on Wednesday – Sep 30, 2020

Part of the NDP platform includes developing a staffing retention strategy in long-term care, providing workers in long-term care and assisted living with “levelled up wages” even after the pandemic ends, and restoring provincial standards for wages, benefits, and working conditions that were cut by the BC Liberals.

The NDP also focused on ensuring long-term care residents do not have a roommate if they do not want one.

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson will be in the swing riding of Skeena with local candidate Ellis Ross. The focus of the trip to Terrace and Kitimat will be on the liquefied natural gas sector.

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The Liberals are promising in their platform to expedite LNG export projects through collaborative agreements with Indigenous groups and to work with them to establish accelerated review and approval processes.

Wilkinson is pledging to review critical natural resource statutes and provide clarity on processes and decision-making criteria.