Premier Christy Clark takes questions outside Government House Tuesday. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press_

Election kicks off with promises, rallies

Visit to Government House officially begins campaign

Premier Christy Clark started off the 2017 election campaign Tuesday with a visit to Government House to dissolve the legislature and begin a 28-day run to voting day on May 9.

Clark and other MLAs officially became candidates when Lt. Governor Judith Guichon issued the election writs for voting in 87 constituencies, up two since the last election with new seats added in Surrey and Richmond.

Clark followed that with a noon-hour rally with Vancouver Island candidates at Elk Lake outside Victoria and a suppertime event in Vancouver to start the campaign. NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver also had public events in Vancouver to start the first day of the formal campaign.

Taking questions at Government House, Clark said her party’s platform is the only one that is costed and won’t require tax increases.

The NDP’s promise to eliminate tolls on the Port Mann bridge would cost $150 million, and it would mean people outside the Lower Mainland would be covering bridge costs, she said.

“And then you add in a $1.5 billion child care plan,” Clark said. “He’s already run out of money.”

The BC Liberals released their election platform Monday, promising four more balanced budgets and repeating commitments made in the February budget, including a 50 per cent reduction in medical services premiums starting in 2018.

The NDP releases its full platform Thursday, building on promises to set up $10-a-day child care province-wide and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The Greens have an even more ambitious child care plan, with daycare at no cost and expansion of kindergarten to include three- and four-year-olds.

Eligible voters can begin voting today, by requesting a mail-in voting package on the Elections BC website or calling 1-800-661-8683.

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