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Party leaders square off in first debate of election campaign

The leaders of British Columbia’s three main political parties sat around the same table for the first time in the provincial election today, zeroing in on jobs, the economy, government spending and housing in a live radio debate.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark stuck to a similar refrain in telling voters the province’s economy is healthy and the outcome of the election on May 9 could place that in jeopardy.

But her main adversary, NDP Leader John Horgan, told listeners on News 1130 in Vancouver that Clark’s government has failed the middle-class.

The Greens’ Andrew Weaver said the Liberal promise of jobs from projects like liquefied natural gas have failed to materialize as he urged voters to embrace a new vision for the province’s economy that creates jobs in emerging industries.

In the early part of the debate, Horgan spoke over Clark as she attacked his platform by accusing the New Democrats of hiding the true cost of their promises.

Horgan said the platform is based on the financial figures in the government’s spring budget, telling Clark that Finance Minister Michael de Jong’s analysis of the budget released Wednesday was an embarrassment.

(With files from The Canadian Press) 

About Corey Callaghan

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