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WHERE THEY STAND: Abbotsford Candidates on how parties will pay for their promises

We asked Gibson, Flavelle and Rai about funding their parties’ election promises.

The issue:

This election has seen the provincial parties make a variety of promises to voters, all of which will cost money. But how will they pay for them?

The parties’ platforms:

The Green Party says it would increase the general corporate tax rate to 12 per cent, and increase the share of taxes paid by those earning more than $108,460 a year. They say they would also eliminate boutique tax credits and increase the carbon tax every year.

The Liberal party says it would implement a personal income tax and carbon tax freeze and introduce several new tax credits. They also say they will cut the small business tax rate and cut MSP premiums in half.

The NDP says it would re-implement the top tax bracket for those making over $150,000 and increase the corporate tax rate to 12 per cent. They say they’d eliminate MSP fees and phase in the new federal carbon tax rate starting in 2020 and eliminate “partisan government advertising.”

Both the NDP and BC Liberals promised to cut the small business tax rate from 2.5 per cent to two per cent.

We asked the candidates

Simon Gibson, BC Liberals, Abbotsford-Mission

During the last election, your leader was adamant LNG would be the route to paying off the province’s debt; what happened to that?

LNG is going to be an incredible source of revenue for our province and create thousands of jobs. There currently are people working on LNG up north and a lot of the infrastructure is in place to ship it across the Pacific. However … the commodity price for LNG has come down quite significantly. So we’re facing the challenge of a product that is desireable but the profit margins are slim for those who would invest. So we’re in a stand-by position.

Aird Flavelle, Green Party, Abbotsford South

How would your party pay for its promise to provide free preschool to all three- and four-year-olds

We spend $4 billion on social services and I think we can save an awful lot of that money by making our children stronger. If we had stronger families and stronger early childhood experiences, we’d have so much less crime, we’d have so much less drug use, we’d have so much less people in our prisons.

Preet Rai, NDP, Abbotsford West

You say you will find efficiencies to pay for your promises, what if you can’t find enough efficiencies?

I think that is a question for when we get into government and find out what sort the books are [in]. Right now, the BC Liberals have been taking money from BC Hydro and ICBC when your and my rates have been going through the roof … but the BC NDP has promised in its platform that we will be doing this with a balanced budget.

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