B.C. Liberals to promise major policy changes in upcoming throne speech – British Columbia

Premier Christy Clark is promising to change course on several contentious issues in the upcoming speech from the throne in the B.C. Legislature.

In the throne speech later this week the Liberals are expected to promise a ban on union and corporate donations to political campaigns and an increase to social assistance rates by $100 per month, CBC News has learned.

During the recent election the party was criticized for not moving to ban union and corporate campaign donations, something promised by both the NDP and the Greens.

The NDP has also long called for increases to welfare rates, which have been frozen for nearly a decade under the Liberals.

The throne speech is also expected to promise an increase to disability rates by tying the rate increases to the consumer price index.

The Liberals are also expected to propose a new program to help low-income single working parents access skills training.

According to a statement released by the Liberals last night, the policy changes are being proposed because, “since the election the premier and our MLA’s have been listening to the message voters sent us.”

But the party recently lost its majority in the legislature in the May 2017 election and it’s expected the party will be defeated by the NDP-Green alliance next Monday when it faces its first confidence vote.

The changes in policy direction are not the first promised by the party since the election. Clark also recently reversed her longstanding position that any changes to municipal transit funding in Metro Vancouver would first need to be passed in a referendum.

‘It’s about votes’

On Monday morning, Liberal MLA and former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan said the promises were part of “a big push” to win back urban voters who deserted the party in the recent election.

“For sure, it’s about getting votes, but its about connecting with people,” said Sullivan on CBC Radio.

“We have really recognized how we didn’t do well in the urban area. We…

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