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BC Liberal leader discusses affordability, second crossing during Kelowna visit

Click to play video: 'BC Liberal leader speaks to Kelowna chamber' BC Liberal leader speaks to Kelowna chamber
WATCH: The new leader of the BC Liberal Party was in Kelowna Monday to present his vision for the future of the province and the party. During his speech to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Falcon argued the province should be "bold" on infrastructure projects and that there is a major role for the private sector in tackling some key challenges – Jun 27, 2022

The new leader of the BC Liberal Party was in Kelowna, B.C., Monday to present his vision for the future of the province and his party.

During his speech to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Falcon argued the province should be “bold” on infrastructure projects and that there is a major role for the private sector in tackling affordability challenges.

Read more: BC Liberal leader Kevin Falcon sworn in as MLA for Vancouver Quilchena

Affordability was a major theme of Falcon’s speech.

The leader of BC’s official opposition argued to tackle housing costs, the province needs to be more focused on increasing supply.

“But rather than having government do something it is not very good at, why don’t we take the ingenuity of the private sector and encourage them to get everything you want built. With the proper carrots and sticks we can make that happen,” Falcon said.

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Falcon also sees the private sector playing a key role in expanding another affordability program: $10 dollar/day child care.

“Let’s make sure that we get more government, more not-for-profit, more private sector to make sure that those seats are there so that we can genuinely get $10/day daycare in our lifetime,” Falcon said.

Read more: BC Liberals meet in Penticton for vote to start name-change process

Responding to questions on infrastructure, Falcon said the province should be bold and suggested that could even include a second bridge across Okanagan Lake.

“We are not going to incrementalize ourselves out of the traffic gridlock that we’ve got here in Kelowna. We are going to have to think much much bigger,” said Falcon.

“A traffic study is underway right now between the city and the province. I understand it is going to be ready by the end of the year…My very strong suspicion is that we are going to need a second crossing in Kelowna. I don’t think there is much doubt about that and we might as well get planning for that because I’ll tell you Kelowna will continue to grow,” Falcon said.

Those issues, affordability and transportation bottlenecks, are both challenges the the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce wants addressed.

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“We like that these leaders that are shaping the province come and speak direct…So it is good that we are seeing that more whether it is the leader of the official opposition or members of government. We are eager to hear from them on the important issues that are facing business,” said chamber executive director Dan Rogers.

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