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BC Election 2013: As campaign heats up, NDP shows its cards

Change is likely coming to the BC electoral scene in May, but massive debt accrued under the Liberals will make the transition slow and cautious, one small NDP step at a time.

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With 12 weeks until voting day, Telford said he is surprised the NDP hasn’t announced any inspirational programs yet, “particularly because they are getting hammered in negative ads and it’s allowing the Liberals to define them before they define themselves.”

That may well begin to change in the next several weeks as the NDP can now analyze the Budget delivered by the Liberals in Victoria on Tuesday before putting the finishing touches on its all-important pre-election platform.

After four deficits budgets in a row, the Liberals’ 2013-14 budget predicted — through the use of government-owned asset sales and higher taxes — a “surplus” of $197 million. Total provincial debt, meanwhile, is expected to climb to $62.7 billion during the same period. Those figures represent much of the fiscal reckoning the NDP would inherit if they form the next government.

Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and proposed LNG plants on the NDP radar

Here then, coming 4.5 years after the implosion of Lehman Brothers sent most of the world’s economies into a stubbornly deep sleep, are some of the NDP’s promises so far.

Energy exports — which could be worth possibly hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few decades in terms of infrastructure costs, sales and royalties — are at the top of the political news cycle these days if for no other reason than the Liberals have put aggressively expanded exports to Asia, and an accompanying boom in provincial revenues, at the top of their electoral wish list.

In terms of the Enbridge pipeline proposal designed to carry contentious heavy Alberta oil to tidewater in northern BC, the NDP have said they would “withdraw from the federal government’s Enbridge Northern Gateway Project review process and set up a ‘made in BC’ environmental assessment to ensure the province’s interests are protected.”

The NDP has also said the Northern Gateway proposal threatens both the economy of BC and the environment and has reiterated its position against increased tanker traffic along the province’s coast. “It’s clearly up to British Columbians to come together, make their voices heard and oppose the Enbridge pipeline,” Dix has said.

Regarding the proposed doubling of the existing Kinder Morgan oil pipeline to Vancouver, the NDP says it would again try and take back provincial authority from the federal government’s review process and conduct a provincial environmental assessment. It has not said yet whether it approves of the Kinder Morgan proposal.

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