British Columbia

Halfway through term, B.C. NDP three-quarters of the way through election promises

The government has followed through or made positive progress on 90 of the 122 pledges in its platform. Another 18 are incomplete, while 14 have seen no progress. 

Government has followed through or made positive progress on 90 of the 122 pledges in its platform

Premier Horgan takes an oath with Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon as he's sworn-in as premier at Government House in Victoria on July 18. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Whether you like or dislike B.C.'s NDP government, one thing you can't accuse them of is going back on their promises.

With its second year in the legislature concluding on Thursday, CBC News has updated its Promise Tracker, which charts every tangible promise the NDP made in its 2017 election platform.

The government has followed through or made positive progress on 90 of the 122 pledges in its platform. 

Another 18 are incomplete, while 14 have seen no progress. 

"I think it's been an extraordinary two years. There was so much to address since we were elected government and we really focused," said Finance Minister Carole James. 

"We haven't stopped to take a breath in two years, and I'm looking forward to not taking a breath in the next two years because we've got a lot to accomplish still ahead of us. 

You can view a detailed spreadsheet of the party's promises here

No renters rebate or school supply fund

With nearly three-quarters of the NDP's platform now enacted, it's easier to focus on the areas where no progress has been made. 

A promised $400 rebate to every renter in the province?

"We're continuing our work with the [Green Party] around the renters rebate, but we've already been able to make a difference for those who are renting or looking to buy a house," said James. 

What about a commitment to "provide $30 million per year to our school system to ensure that kids have the school supplies that they need?"

"We started with playgrounds — to be able now to receive money to support them in that work has made a huge difference ... and we know school supplies is one of those pieces we're continuing to look at," said James. 

At the same time, there are other election promises the government has fully backed away from. 

After promising to bring in an endangered species law, the government consulted with stakeholders, but has since backed away from taking action anytime soon. And a pledge to freeze BC Hydro rates was quickly overruled by the B.C. Utilities Commission, with increases of eight per cent over the next five years now expected. 

Liberals focus on affordability 

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, whose support for the NDP has ensured its survival in a minority legislature the last two years, says he's pleased with the results. 

"We've had quite a number of successes from our party's perspective. One of the things I think that many people have realized is minority governments can work," he said. 

Unsurprisingly, B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson argues otherwise.  

"We've got a government that made a lot of big promises, a lot of retail promises to people that would make their lives better. And they're just ignoring them," he said. 

While Wilkinson highlighted the government's mixed results in "[replacing] Surrey portables with real classrooms," his greater criticism was reserved for things that have transpired since certain promises were made.  

"We're seeing the NDP ignoring the housing issues, ignoring gasoline prices, and they're not too worried about prosperity because they keep taking more and more tax money out of your pocket," he said. 

Agree or disagree with Wilkinson, the only thing for certain is that the NDP will have a tougher time moving forward on election promises in the second half of its term — if only because so much of them are already in place. 

With files from Tanya Fletcher


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