British Columbia

B.C. NDP completed 79% of its campaign promises in 1st term

The B.C. NDP can head into this election campaign able to claim they've followed through on most of the promises they made during the last campaign. 

While 96 platform pledges are done or well underway, there are several big ones where the jury is out

Premier John Horgan is photographed with Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon and his provincial cabinet after being sworn-in as Premier at Government House in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

The B.C. NDP can head into this election campaign able to claim they've followed through on most of the promises they made during the last campaign. 

Nearly 100 of them, in fact. 

An analysis of all 122 promises in the party's 2017 election platform shows that 96 of them have been completed or are clearly on their way to completion.

Another 14 promises have a mixed record — or the jury is still out on whether the government will complete them — while no progress has been made on 12.

(A spreadsheet with the full list is at the bottom of this article.)

The government has completed relatively few of its promises since May 2019 — the last time we updated the promise tracker — partly a product of completing so many in its first two years, and partly a product of the COVID-19 pandemic changing its focus. 

What promises haven't been completed?

With the NDP completing so many promises in their first year in power — from raising disability and welfare rates, to putting in a speculation tax, to eliminating tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges — the major broken promises have been known for quite some time. 

Chief among them are freezing BC Hydro rates (they've gone up by about four per cent), providing a renters rebate of $400 a year, and creating a $30 million annual fund for school supplies. And after promising to bring in an endangered species law, the government consulted with stakeholders, but has since backed away from taking action.

At the same time, there are several promises the government has made where the jury is still very much out, and one could make an argument of the promise being broken or still on track. These include:

  • Replacing Surrey portables with classrooms: the number of portables in B.C.'s second largest city has gone from 275 when the NDP took power to 370 as of January 2020. In a statement, the NDP argued they "inherited an essentially bare cupboard" for new Surrey schools, and the schools approved since they formed government will get them over that promise in the coming years.
  • $10-a-day daycare: the government put no timeline on their bold proposal for universally affordable child care in B.C., so assessing whether the promise is broken depends in part on how generous you are with a time frame. In a statement, the NDP said more than 32,700 children have accessed child care for $10 a day or less since September 2018. 
  • Building 114,000 rental and co-op homes in 10 years: the NDP says 24,000 units are completed or underway. That's about 21 per cent of the goal — but the party argues the timeline should only start from the moment they announced their 10-year housing plan in February 2018, seven months after forming the government. That would still put them behind pace, but at a more manageable rate. 

Of course, whether voters are interested in arguing about promises of the past campaign during the present one remains to be seen.         


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