November 7, 2012
Labour critic speaks to labour council
While it has been said the NDP could coast to victory next in next May's election just by letting the B.C. Liberals self-destruct, B.C.'s current Opposition party won't take that approach, an MLA told North Okanagan Labour Council delegates Wednesday night in Kelowna.
Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings and the party's labour critic, said the NDP will outline its objectives, programs and costs "and campaign on that."
"We're going to tell British Columbians what we're going to do," he said.
Reducing income inequality, child poverty and poverty in general are high on the party's to-do list, Simpson said.
"We believe if you want to reduce inequality, you strengthen the middle class," he said, adding that having more trade unionists results in having more people in the middle class.
Simpson said the NDP will strengthen skills training, invest in student loan programs so students aren't left with high debts after post-secondary education, and work to revitalize the forest industry by starting with a forest inventory, which he said hasn't been done for 20 years.
Reversing cuts to the Workers' Compensation Board (now called WorkSafeBC) and the Employment Standards branch were also mentioned.
The NDP caucus is holding meetings in Kelowna and most of the MLAs joined labour delegates for a meet-and-greet after the NOLC's regular monthly meeting.
In a brief address at the social, NDP Leader Adrian Dix noted this was his 29th visit to Kelowna in the last two years.
Despite the region's reputation as a Liberal stronghold, Dix said the NDP plans to compete in every riding across the province.
Dix also promised the NDP will run a campaign that respects its opponents.