B.C. Liberals announce plans for Vancouver Island-specific platform

Reacting to the news, Green leader Andrew Weaver calls the move "desperate" as support for ruling party has been low on Vancouver Island.

Liberals control only 2 of Island's 11 current ridings; 14 will be up for grabs in 2017

The ruling B.C. Liberals have only two seats on Vancouver Island — none of them in the capital — and want to change that in 2017. (Deddeda Stemler/Canadian Press)

The B.C. Liberals plan to launch a Vancouver Island-specific platform to target Island voters in next May's election.

Premier Christy Clark made the announcement on Thursday, Oct. 27 at the State of the Island economic summit in Nanaimo and said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae will be in charge of developing it.

"Don's job is … find as many bright ideas as he can so we can put together a plan for the next 10 years," she said.

Currently, only two of the Island's 11 MLAs are Liberals; eight are from the NDP, including party leader John Horgan.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver holds his party's lone seat on the island, and reacted to the plan with derision.

"You would be hard-pressed to find a B.C. Liberal voter on the island so of course they are going to need a Vancouver Island platform because they are desperate," he said.

In an interview with All Points West host Robyn Burns, McRae said the plan is about better reflecting the needs of Vancouver Islanders.

He said the party will be reaching out to people and organizations on the Island to determine what, exactly, the platform will look like.

"I try my best as a Comox Valley MLA and my colleague Michelle Stilwell, Parksville-Qualicum, does the same, but we're just two MLAs that represent, basically, 14 Vancouver Island ridings," he said, referring to the new ridings coming to the Island for the 2017 election.

McRae said he's not announcing any platform promises yet, adding commitments would be made closer to the writ drop.

With files from Richard Zussman and CBC Radio One's All Points West

To hear the full interview with Comox Valley MLA Don McRae, click the audio labelled: B.C. Liberals announce plans for Vancouver Island-specific platform