BC Liberal Government Caucus image Surrey-White Rock’s MLA Tracy Redies responds to premier’s throne speech.

Redies doubts BC Liberal and NDP parties ‘will be on the same page’

Throne-speech issues the same but approaches differ, says MLA Redies as opposition parties prepare for power

Surrey-White Rock’s newest BC Liberal MLA acknowledged Friday that criticism regarding the similarity between her party’s throne-speech promises and those put forward by the opposition NDP and Green parties were “things that we were all hearing on the doorstep.”

But Tracy Redies said she was doubtful she’d support such legislation coming from the NDP and Greens if the now-opposition parties win the right to govern.

“The challenge with the NDP promises is that they’re very vague,” Redies told Peace Arch News. “Most of them weren’t costed and there wasn’t really any detail.”

“I doubt very much that we’ll be on the same page.”

Redies spoke to PAN the day after Premier Christy Clark’s throne speech, which laid out the BC Liberals’ vision for the province and included everything from creating child-care spaces to reforming the political-donation system.

Clark’s speech was criticized by opposition parties as taking from their handbooks.

In a YouTube video posted Thursday, Redies conceded that election results – which left the BC Liberals with a minority government and sparked a co-operation agreement between the BC NDP and the BC Green Party – sent her party a message.

“While our government received strong support from rural British Columbia, it’s clear that urban British Columbians expect us to do some things differently,” she states.

The next day, she reiterated the point, and told PAN that while her party’s issues may be similar to those raised by the opposition, “the approaches that we’re taking are quite different.”

“For example, the child care. We’re very focused on supporting those families in the lower or middle-income range,” she said. “That works with our philosophy.

“The NDP have suggested $10 daycare for everyone. The government should be helping those who need the help.”

Redies named social housing as another area where the parties’ approaches differ. The BC Liberals, she said, would work with the private sector to build social and accessible housing.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan has said an NDP government would provide Crown land to communities to lower the cost of new housing; the party’s plan is to create 114,000 rental, social and co-op housing units over 10 years.

“I think we have a much better likelihood of being able to deliver those units faster,” Redies said.

Elections BC spokesman Andrew Watson confirmed Thursday following the throne speech that the agency is preparing for the possibility that voters could soon be heading back to the polls.

Horgan had said he would make a motion of non-confidence on the throne speech Monday, but after the NDP and Greens defeated proposed BC Liberal legislation to ban corporate and union donations and to grant the Greens official party status, the non-confidence vote is expected tomorrow (Thursday).

Redies said that regardless of who is in power, “we all have to look at these (throne speech) issues.”

For the BC Liberals, it’s a “much bigger-picture approach” than just the next four years, she added.

“I guess if we’re not in government, we won’t be able to implement them the way we think is the best way for the province,” she said.

“But we’ll wait and see what happens.”