B.C. NDP shunned by business groups
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 | 10:19 PM PT
A coalition of B.C. business groups denounced NDP Leader Carole James on Tuesday and called the party's economic platform a disaster for small business in the province.
The long-term impact of the NDP's economic plan will mean higher costs for entrepreneurs, higher prices for consumers and fewer jobs, said the coalition's John Winter, whose group comprises organizations representing hotels, restaurants, homebuilders and retailers.
"The single biggest factor is the minimum-wage increase being pushed by the NDP and their partners from big labour," Winter said Tuesday.
"In the middle of the biggest economic downturn in a generation, they just don't care about adding what is estimated to be $450 million to the bottom lines of businesses that are already struggling to survive."
James said she's not surprised to see these business groups coming out swinging against her party.
"You can tell it's going to be a competitive election. That's pretty clear when you have all of the groups come together in the last week of the campaign with only seven days left," said James, who was meeting business people Tuesday in the Cariboo.
James wrapped up a two-day tour of northern B.C., where her theme was "rural neglect under the B.C. Liberals."
"What I hear from people in the communities is that they’ve had enough, they’ve seen the kinds of impact of Gordon Campbell over the last eight years," James said at another campaign stop at MacKenzie, where the forestry industry has been struggling in recent years.
James's election campaign moves to the Lower Mainland on Wednesday
Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell took aim at the NDP's bad reception by the coalition of B.C. business groups.
"I think people do have to ask themselves why is it that no major employer in British Columbia have supported the NDP," said Campbell, who made a campaign stop at Electronic Arts, a video game developer and publisher, in Burnaby.
The election takes place Tuesday.