As B.C. voters gear up for the start of a provincial election campaign, B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark took her message directly to the public Sunday night.
"The past two years have made me a better premier and a stronger leader," Clark said in the 30-minute prime-time television special in which she outlined why the Liberals should stay in government.
"Mr. Dix and I are both applying for the same job: the job of your premier. And we're doing it at a time when our province is surrounded by economic risk …. Let's compare our platforms, our visions, our plans, and our teams. Then let you, the people of B.C., decide," Clark said.
According the polls, Clark's B.C. Liberal Party is facing a monumental challenge to try and hold onto power as the provincial New Democrats continue their push to form government for the first time in more than a decade.
The ad — paid for by the B.C. Liberal Party at a cost of about $100,000 — features Clark and a variety of political backers, including former Conservative federal cabinet minister Stockwell Day, all warning of the perils of allowing the B.C. New Democrats back in office.
"The last time that the NDP was in power here in B.C., I was the provincial treasurer in Alberta and I got to see first-hand the result of NDP economic policy," Day said.
"It resulted in runaway spending, higher deficits, more debt and then a big increase in taxes to try and pay for it all. That meant investment left B.C. That means jobs, opportunities and workers left B.C."
The special aims to talk up the merits of the Liberals and cast doubt on the ability of the NDP to govern.
"Ultimately what it means … remains to be seen," said Mario Canseco with Angus Reid Public Opinion.
Banning corporate, union donations
Although the election campaign isn’t officially underway, the Liberals weren’t the only ones in campaign mode over the weekend.
Adrian Dix and the NDP also spent the weekend trying to drum up support.
"There's an increasing concern and cynicism about the nature of politics," Dix said on Sunday.
"So today I'm announcing that for the 2017 election, we will be banning corporate and union donations to politics in British Columbia."
Voters can expect to hear much more from the party leaders starting Tuesday, when Clark will ask the lieutenant governor to dissolve the legislature, officially kicking off the election campaign.
B.C.’s next provincial election is on May 14.