Live Blogging BC Leaders Debate 2005

Just getting started here.

GC = Gordon Campbell (Liberal)
AC = Adrian Carr (Green)
CJ = Carol James (NDP)

I’ll focus mainly on the non-scripted debate. The answers to the questions by reporters will be, I assume… party line.

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On the Economy:

Scripted question to MR CAMPBELL on why everyone has Not benefited from BCs economic gain.

GC: Same answer about good economy and low taxes benefiting all.

AC: Focus on environment and spreading wealth.

CJ: No new taxes, freezing tuition, no-privatize BC Hydro/ICBC

Followup “debate”:

AC starts by calling for more renewable energy use and less log exports.

GC says NDP was cause of problems and that Liberals have improve situation.

CJ says improvement was Canada wide and Globally driven not Liberals…

CJ confronts Campbell on privatizing BC Hyrdo, BC Rail and iCBC… AC confronts Campbell on tax cuts to Big Business instead of small.

GC avoids confrontation and talks up BC Economy as being better than Canada wide growth.

CJ said “Campbell won’t answer questions”… continues on privatization angle.

GC said “NDP made us a have-not province”

AC says “Both got BC on a unsustainable fossil fuel path…”

Next Topic: On Health Care…

AC: Focus on immediate, crisis money for repair… then on prevention and “keep people healthy”

CJ: We’ve seen the Liberals break their promise on long term beds… we have a clear plan… we’re going to fix the crisis left by the Liberals

GC: Will launch initiatives to reduce burden on system… focus on healthy living (fruits and veggies)…

Followup to CJ: Private sector involvement in public health care.

CJ: Will “end privatization” in Health Care… based on fact. Spending health dollars in private system costs more according to Mc Master.

AC: It was an NDP who started privatization with clinic.

CJ: But look at seniors… who say they’re worse off…. GC, please explain breaking your commitment to the seniors of BC.

GC: People have had challenges. In 2002 we did a review.. the NDP cut 1/5 beds. Facilites were inadequate. 4000 facilities renovated.

CJ: Leadership is about keeping promises… senior in Golden had to travel to Vancouver for long term care.

GC: We chose to upgrade the quality of the facilities

AC: Food is deplorable in hospitals… privatizing support staff in hospitals…

GC: Choices allowed them to save and build Abbotsford hospital.

Rebuttals:

GC: It’s important we have all the facts. Chose to raise quality of health care… by 2008 will meet goal to create 5000 additional units.

CJ: GC, you made choice to break your promise.

AC: Focus on prevention… better MSP coverage.

Next Topic: On Education, ESL, school closures.

CJ: Was decision by Liberals to download costs to schoolboards… we need to invest in education, freeze tuition, make education important in BC.

GC: Student funding has gone up $881/student since 2001. Graduations are up… scores are up.

AC: Education system has been underfunded for 15 years. Parents must fundraise and provide user fees. Must invest in education.

Followup on Education:

GC: We have left decisions to school trustees because “one size fits all” doesn’t work. Added 150 million for funding. We hope school boards will report on literacy.

CJ: Achievement has gone up despite of lack of leadership not because of. Resources aren’t there. In 1999, GC said would not see Liberals close hospitals or schools… how do you explain that?

GC: School trustees say cut strings… elected school boards can do it.

CJ: I’ve been a school trustee for 11 years.

AC: CJ is right! you’ve downloaded costs on school boards. Cutting special needs or librarians or ESL… must come back. You hace not provided enough money.

GC: “Well that’s not correct”… we’re giving school boards envelopes of money now.

CJ: You can’t increase funding in only the 4th year.

(GOOD DEBATE!)

Rebuttals….

CJ: Campbell said they would not raise tuition fees… he broke promise.

GC: Parents believe education should be essential service… need to put students ahead of strikes (ahaha! nice dodge)

NEXT TOPIC
Why has Liberal government ignored drug treatment and preventions.

GC: Have to invest in crime prevention… invest in policing and coordinating…

AC: All want safer streets… get at root causes… drugs, poverty and lack of housing and employment. We must move on delinking drugs and crime. (legalizing m?)

CJ: People feel less safe… Crime hit 10 year high in 2004. Crown prosecutors budget cut. Support for victims of crime cut. Community policing cut.

Debate Followup.

BC has lowest police per capita ratios.

AC: We do need to have more police, but must also “free up” officers. Green take innovative approach… legalize marijuana!

CJ: Government is about choices… why did you choose to cut victims of crime programs.

GC: NThere are more programs now… agree with Green, need to get to root problems…

CJ: Do victims of crime not deserve support.

GC: Investing money on support for mentally ill and others

CJ: We’re hearing the words, and no action.

GC: This requires a comprehensive approach…

CJ: we heard you point the finger except your own record. you’ve cut… cut.. cut

AC: the NDP did cut for mental health…

Rebuttals:

CJ: Liberal record is clear… cut funds and support. NDP invest addiction services, victim support and community policing so people fee safe.

GC: This is an issue… requires safe streets legislation (ban panhandling)… provide mental health services and addiction services.

AC: Morepolice offiers good… must delink profit motive from criminal activity (marijuana)… must have addiction services.

Twinning Port Mann Bridge… Green platofrm will cut all major transport projects.

AC: Problems will not be solved by building more bridges and huighways.. must entice people out of cars… ened public transport. must invest in rapid transit and variety of services.

CJ: Transport is a key. Liberal gov pull projects for political… NDP will build infrastructure with plan not politic. Liberals removed Environment ministry.. speaks to their thoughts on the ENvi.

GC: We support RAV and other rapid transit. Ground water protection legislation is new.

Followup:
Environment.. willing to sacrifice fish farming jobs for fish stocks.

CJ: Fish farms can be balanced and transitioned to closed pens. Can have jobs with leadership to balance the industry.

AC: NDP doubled capacity of fish farms… Libs fish farm policy free reign.. do they not see the environ impact?

CJ: NDP sees that and will doboth by looking after jobs and transitional industry.

GC: NDP brought in fish farms… we said we would put in scientific based regime. Aquaculture helped employment. Must manage tomeet enviro standards… we moved fish farms to better locations (because that helps how??)

AC: Mustinvest in wild fisheries.

CJ: We’ve seen Enviro protection slashed. Seen enviro officers removed.

GC: Will invest in Dam opening and invest in new creation of salmon stocks.

REBUTTAL:

GC: 50% of all new energy must be alternative energy… leading in Fuel Cell development.

AC: Government failed to move on Wind Energy… instead Folssil Fuel develkopment from both NDP and Libs.

CJ: Envir has taken huge hit… we see Fraser is on endangered list. Enviro must be top priority.

FINAL TOPIC:
Leadership… Will NDP distance themselves from Labour? How will you balance demands of Unions with individuals.

CJ: Great deal of change in NDP party… seniors, youth, business groups geting involved in NDP. Must respect workers that are there. Picking fights won’t ensure good relations.

GC: BC leading on Olympic bid… proud of Liberal team.. (crappy answer)

AC: Leadership is about vision. Both other parties has vested interest. Green party has vision. Green participated in Citizens Assembly to change electoral system.

Followup: Trust is an issue for Gordon Campbell for breaking promises and contracts.

GC: We’ve accomplished 90% of our goals. Some people will be disappointed. New confidence and trust is in BC.

CJ: Leadership is about doing what you say… say to the people which promises you break, which ones should public believe now. Explain to the viewers??

GC: Fair question. We endeavour to acomplish all goals. Chose to improve quality of health facilities which wer a result NDP. We intend to meet all goals. We have intention of mainting all commitments.

CJ: You didn’t talk to anyone about selling BC Rails.. 999 year lease is a sale.

Alright… I’m done.. baby needs foood.

Good debate.

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