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B.C. election digest 2020: This week’s top stories

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, Green Leader, Sonia Furstenau, and BC NDP Leader John Horgan.
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, Green Leader, Sonia Furstenau, and BC NDP Leader John Horgan. Global News

British Columbia’s 2020 provincial election heated up like never before this week.

The BC Liberals rolled out their full platform on Tuesday, with promises to eliminate ICBC’s monopoly on private insurance, eliminate the PST for one year and create a Pandemic Response Committee.

The BC Greens also unveiled their full platform, including $10 billion in new spending for childcare, schools and income security.

The major party leaders squared off in a television debate and a radio debate on 980 CKNW.

The debates provided no knockout punches, but plenty of memorable lines.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan also spent considerable time apologizing for and explaining his response to a question about white privilege in which he said he doesn’t “see colour.

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But Horgan wasn’t the only one on defence this week — the BC Liberals faced major criticism on three fronts.

Over the weekend, North Vancouver-Seymour Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite was forced to apologize over a joke she made about NDP North Vancouver-Lonsdale Candidate Bowinn Ma at a roast for a retiring MLA.

The comments were widely criticized as sexist, and party leader Andrew Wilkinson was criticized for his slow response to the issue.

Days later, the party faced a new firestorm after Chilliwack-Kent Liberal candidate Laurie Throness compared free contraception to eugenics at an all-candidates debate.

Throness resigned from the party in the aftermath, and has since declared his intention to run as an independent.

And on Friday, New Westminster Liberal candidate Lorraine Brett faced criticism over a deleted tweet praising an essay by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling as her “best work.”

Rowling lays out her opinion on transgender issues in the essay, which advocates for the LGBTQ2 community have criticized as transphobic.

The NDP raised a few eyebrows of its own this week with a seemingly official” letter sent out to voters encouraging them to vote that critics say could appear misleading.

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Two polls this week, one from Ipsos and one from the Angus Reid Institute, showed the NDP with a good chance at forming a majority government.

The polls came as advance polls opened and early voting got underway. Advance polls are open until next Wednesday.

There has also been a massive demand for mail-in ballots, so much so that Elections BC says some people may not be able to return them in time to be counted

Voters looking for a one-stop-shop with information on where, when and how to vote can also check out Global BC’s B.C. election cheat sheet.

Voters can also find a complete list of ridings and candidates here.

Election day is Oct. 24.