With British Columbians going to the polls on Tuesday, May 14, we present the third in our series with the answers to our questions from Scott Harrison, the Liberal Party candidate for the Vancouver West-End riding.
I want to make Vancouver, BC and Canada a better place for the next generation of British Columbians building on our successes while learning from our mistakes. The West End is a great example of a walkable community where people can live, work and play all in their community. In addition to helping individuals with their day to day issues, I want to make sure we get St. Paul’s redevelopment done, build on our Housing strategies, and advocate for a new schools in downtown.
What is the #1 issue facing British Columbians and how will you and your party work to address it?
Economic Development is the number one issue facing BC because without a strong economic development plan for BC we will either have to rack up debt for my children to pay or we will be unable to meet our current societal obligations to each other. BC faces very significant long term cost pressures on government spending. Growing the economy and managing spending is the only way to address these significant issues.
This is why under Premier Christy Clark, we have planned to invest in much needed infrastructure like St. Paul’s Hospital over the next few years while seizing on the economic opportunities of our generation. This balanced approach to capital planning, taxation, spending control, and economic expansion will ensure BC keeps our credit rating.
Keeping our AAA credit rating is critical. If our credit were to drop and we were to take on the same amount of debt as Ontario, annual interest costs on the debt will increase by around $2 billion a year. That is a lot of money we cannot use to fund Health Care & Education.
Trade diversification is key to our short term and long term prospects. Without increased trade we cannot create more economic opportunity. We must continue to support private sector-led economic activity in BC by managing spending & by promoting BC in key Asian markets.
We simply cannot subsidize our way to prosperity; we must encourage private sector investment as that is the key to long term prosperity.
What is the #1 issue facing residents of Vancouver-West End and how will you and your party work to address it?
St. Paul’s Redevelopment – Premier Christy Clark listened to our downtown voices and committed to redeveloping St. Paul’s in its current location. This past fall we funded the project planning team to complete a design. Once this plan is completed, and costed it will go to Treasury Board for consideration. As your MLA, I will ensure this project gets funded through Treasury Board in a timely manner. Then the redevelopment can begin.
This project is vital to our economy and our community. All West End residents & businesses look forward to this project being done in a timely manner.
What is the #1 issue facing the LGBTQ community in British Columbia and how will you and your party work to address it?
Improving tolerance and understanding through our ERASE bullying programs in BC Schools. By focusing on the future generations we educate everyone on the importance of acceptance, understanding and how our differences make us stronger as a society.
What will be your first priority should you be elected?
Ensuring St. Paul’s gets funded and built in a timely manner.
Who is your personal hero and why?
Too many to name just one but I am inspired by innovators & entrepreneurs because they take risks to solve problems & create the wealth needed to pay for all our public goods.
What one word would describe you as a person?
For more information on Scott Harrison and the BC Liberal Party visit http://www.scottharrison.ca.