‘NDP Idol’ contest aims for youth vote

NDP leadership candidates (from left) Dana Larsen

About 400 NDP supporters packed a Victoria high school gym Thursday night to hear pitches from the five candidates for the party leadership.

There were few major policy differences in the latest of a series of debates that Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons referred to as “NDP Idol.” The theme of the Victoria stop was youth, and most contenders offered help for post-secondary students with grants and low-interest or interest-free loans.

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth said the government can create job opportunities for young people by emphasizing apprenticeships for government construction contracts, instead of going to low bidders who may be from outside B.C. Young people can be hired to plant trees, restore stream habitat and clear brush that is a fire hazard around many B.C. communities, he said.

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix advocated “environmental youth teams” to do similar work. Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan cited a T’Sou-ke Nation employment program where young people learned new skills by installing solar panels on the Vancouver Island band’s buildings as well as upgrading park trails and planting trees.

Dix also advocated union membership for part-time workers so they have a way to enforce labour code regulations such as two-hour call-out pay for work on short notice. The B.C. government has only one employment standards officer west of Kelowna, based in Nelson, and enforcement is inadequate, he said.

Simons referred to his experience as a child protection social worker, and stressed the need for places for young people to go if they can’t stay at home. Youth need options to work out conflicts that don’t trigger a full investigation of their families, he said.

Marijuana activist Dana Larsen, the only non-MLA running for the NDP leadership, called for more spending on social housing and education, financed in part by a new tax bracket for people making $250,000 a year or more.

“We can build homes and schools now, or we can build prisons later,” Larsen said.

 

Just Posted

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Drag queens receive royal treatment during Elk Valley Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

LIVE BLOG: Official election results for City of Fernie

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Municipal Election

LIVE BLOG: Full election results for District of Sparwood

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Municipal Election

LIVE BLOG: Full election results for District of Elkford

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Municipal Election

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Elk Valley shows it’s got Pride

Second annual Elk Valley Pride Festival a huge success

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Most Read