An all-candidates forum at the Child Development Centre in Quesnel on Friday afternoon.
The candidates were asked specifically about poverty, something the presenter noted effects almost 600 thousand people in the province, including one in every 5 children.
NDP candidate Scott Elliott noted that his government is definitely in favour of a poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines and some help for parents…
“Ten dollar a day childcare, absolutely. That’s one of our platforms as well but we want to take it even further that will free for people making an income of less than forty thousand dollars a year.”
BC Conservative candidate Tony Goulet also favours a poverty reduction program…
“Absolutely a reduction plan needs to be devised, a well done reduction plan needs to be put in place with targets, timelines and also accountability. These things happen within governments and then it just sits on a shelf.”
Liberal Coralee Oakes, who’s government was accused of not having a plan, says they spent 7-million dollars to look at a strategy with a targeted approach to reduce poverty.
She says what came out of that was the Single Parent Initiative which allowed them to identify the barriers for single parents to go back to school.
Women’s issues were also discussed, including the inequalities for women when it comes to wages.
Liberal Candidate Coralee Oakes noted that her government has a woman Premier and almost half of the cabinet is made up of women.
She also talked about the Lift program…
“We are looking at a program within our platform that says if you are making minimum wage, we will pay for you to go out and get training, we’ll pay for you to get your transportation, we will pay for you so that you can have your childcare support.”
BC Conservative candidate Tony Goulet says British Columbians have equal rights and privileges under the law so he is in favour of prioritizing the improvement of the status of women in our province.
And NDP candidate Scott Elliott, while agreeing on the issue of equal pay for women, took his Liberal counterpart to task saying that it was ironic that with so many women in the sitting government that they have consistently cut women’s programs for 16 years.