British Columbia

5 key moments from B.C. election debate

The leaders traded jabs on leadership, the economy and housing. Here are the moments we found most interesting.

The sharpest exchanges from Wednesday's debate, the last of the election

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark, (left), NDP Leader John Horgan, (right) and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver (centre) meet before the final leaders' debate of the 2017 provincial election campaign on Apr. 26, 2017. (BC Broadcast Consortium)

The leaders traded jabs on three main categories — leadership, the economy and housing — during Wednesday's election debate. Here are five moments we found most interesting:


B.C. Election Debate 2017

5 years ago
Duration 2:42
Christy Clark and John Horgan debate housing. 2:42

The debate began with a question on how all parties would deal with affordability in light of the rapid rise in housing prices — largely in B.C.'s Lower Mainland — over the last four years. 

"The thing about home ownership is, for people who already own a home, you have a lot of equity in that home," said Liberal Leader Christy Clark. "It was really important that we did all of our homework before we moved with a tax on foreign buyers," she said. 

But NDP Leader John Horgan countered, "While you waited, the average housing price in Vancouver went up $600,000. Why did you wait so long? Was it because your rich developers were making a bundle?"

Clark and Horgan also battled over the B.C. Liberals' home ownership grant and the NDP's $400 rental subsidy proposal. 

Softwood lumber

B.C. Election Debate 2017

5 years ago
Duration 2:40
Christy Clark and John Horgan hotly debate B.C.'s softwood lumber issue. 2:40

The U.S. government's announcement of planned softwood lumber duties has dominated the B.C. campaign for the last two days. And Clark has raised the issue of the United Steelworkers paying the salaries of top NDP staffers, tying this to Horgan.

"He didn't raise softwood lumber even once in three years in question period," Clark said. "Why is this, Mr. Horgan?"  Later she said: "He's taking his orders from the unions in Pittsburgh … who stood behind Donald Trump."

In the past, the American arm of the United Steelworkers has supported some of President Trump's protectionist policies.

Horgan was ready with a quip: "Well Ms. Clark, if you came to question period more often, maybe I'd have the opportunity to do that."   

Weaver vs. Horgan

B.C. Election Debate 2017

5 years ago
Duration 2:45
NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver discuss balanced budgets. 2:45

The first interaction between the Green Party and NDP leaders originally began with Horgan asking Weaver why he supported two B.C. Liberal budgets at the beginning of his term. 

"Unlike your party, I actually think about what I'm going to vote for, and I articulate reasons why I vote for it," said Weaver.

Horgan tried to pivot to the NDP platform, but Weaver maintained the caustic attacks on the NDP,  a scenario that ended up repeating itself several times in the debate. 

"Your plan is plain and simply a "La La" plan. You think money grows on trees. Are you going to lose your temper on me now, Mr. Horgan?" said Weaver. 

"You don't look like a different politician to me, Mr. Weaver," countered Horgan.

Angry John?

B.C. Election Debate 2017

5 years ago
Duration 1:41
John Horgan answers a question if he has an anger management issue. 1:41

With much of the last week's pundit discussions centred around Horgan's temperament, it was perhaps inevitable it would become the centre of a question. And moderator Jennifer Burke delivered it straight to the NDP leader.

"The question for you is ... do you have an anger management issue?" Burke asked. 

"Look, I'm an Irish descendent, I'm passionate," said Horgan, before transitioning to a host of issues that he felt the Liberals had failed on.

"I get angry, and I hope British Columbians do as well."


B.C. Election Debate 2017

5 years ago
Duration 2:39
B.C. Liberal leader Clark and NDP leader Horgan debate education investment. 2:39

Arguably Horgan's most polished pitch came near the end of the debate, when he attacked the Liberals' record on education. 

"You've never apologized to the kids that lost a generation of educational opportunity," Horgan said. "Will you apologize to the kids, the generation that you stole?" 

Clark responded that she believes that education "is the single most important investment a government can make."

"The NDP doesn't include a new penny for education. They must think we're doing something right," she added.

Clark cited the new investments to education the government announced earlier this year, although Horgan pointed out it was a court-ordered agreement.