Premier Christy Clark spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at the third in a series of leadership luncheons organized by Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce on Monday afternoon, at Newlands Golf Club.

Premier focuses on the future in Langley address

In the third of a series of speeches from provincial leaders, Premier Christy Clark emphasized jobs and paying down the provincial debt.

It was sunshine and standing ovations for B.C. Premier Christy Clark who spoke to a large crowd at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s Your Voice, Your Vote leadership series on Monday.

Clark told the crowd of about 200 people that now is the time for B.C. to grow the economy to “something we’ve never seen before when we grow our exports and technology sectors.”

She is focused on the potential of Liquefied Natural Gas and increasing exports to China.

“There hasn’t been a chance like this since W.A.C. Bennett’s time,” said Clark, referring to when B.C.’s longest-standing premier gambled on creating BC. Hydro, building hydro dams and using water power when little was known about whether it would be a success or not.

The premier was the last of the three party leaders to speak in the series that also brought NDP leader Adrian Dix and Conservative leader John Cummins out to speak.

The Chamber’s hope is to increase voter turnout in Langley by five per cent.

Among the many who came out to Newland’s Golf and Country Club were several MLAs, including Aldergrove-Fort Langley MLA Rich Coleman, Langley MLA Mary Polak and Surrey-Panorama MLA Stephanie Cadieux. Liberal hopefuls Peter Fassbender and Amrik Virk were also there, as well as numerous Langley municipal councillors.

Clark’s message was to build an economy strong enough for future generations to enjoy a debt-free province.

My son Hamish is 11 years old now. If we do things right, we can be debt free by the time he is 26,” said Clark.

“Let’s aspire for our children.”

She wants to see windfall revenues from gas exports going into a prosperity fund.

Clark detailed the Liberal successes of creating “47,000 net new jobs” with the B.C. Jobs Plan. She credits the Liberals for digging the province out of a $4 billion deficit it was “saddled with” when they took office in 2001.

She said B.C. was one of two provinces to table a balanced budget this year.

But she reminded the crowd that voting Liberal means there are tough times ahead, where they are going to have to say no to a lot of things to keep B.C. strong.

“I was raised in a middle class family in Burnaby. My mom started the first non-profit daycare out of our church and my dad was a school counsellor.

“There were six of us in a three- bedroom house . . . what was most important to my parents is that we were better off than they were and that meant saying no to a lot of things us kids wanted. It was hard at times but when my dad passed away he left the house mortgage free, he pre-paid his funeral expenses and left us debt-free.

“If it’s not OK to leave our children with mounds of debt, why would it be OK for government to leave children with mounds of debt?” she asks.

She said she doesn’t want to grow government, only the economy.

“I believe in low taxes, building the private sector, more trade, smaller government, supporting small business and cutting red tape,” Clark said.

Several written questions were taken from the audience, including on the “crisis” in transportation and transit funding and whether universal tolling is part of the answer.

“I don’t support universal tolling and road pricing. I don’t think it works,” said Clark.

“Bringing in taxes without consulting the public doesn’t work well so improvements have to be affordable,” she said. She doesn’t believe there is a “crisis,” but said she is confident issues with TransLink funding will get solved within a year.

Health care was also a topic of concern.

“Health care works well if you are are really sick,” said Clark. “When you aren’t urgently sick is when it doesn’t work so well. There are wait lists and huge expenses for procedures. We need to wrestle with new ideas. We’ve been shy to have these conversations.”

Despite its problems, B.C. has the best health outcomes in the country, she said.

“Alberta has the most expensive health care with the worst health outcomes.”

She said that she wouldn’t impose the business vote on local governments but recognizes that in some communities the imbalance of how much businesses pay for property taxes over residential is “way out of hand.”

She plans on keeping the municipal auditor general around because it’s important for local governments to be held financially accountable.

Just Posted

Have you seen Peter Webb?

Fifty-two-year-old man reported missing by family who last saw him July 9

UPDATE: 14-year-old pilot sets Guinness World Record at Langley airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab believes he is now the youngest pilot with the fewest hours logged to fly solo

Plenty of heroes in Thai cave rescue, says Langley diver

Erik Brown reflects on team effort that brought 12 boys and their coach to safety

Elvis sighted in Aldergrove

Live concerts set for Langley Cruise-In on Sept. 8

Township announces new Korean War memorial

A memorial stone from South Korea’s Gapyeong region will be installed at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Abbotsford’s Besse sisters: Vaulting to greatness at Summer Games

Local siblings heading to Cowichan to compete in equestrian

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Most Read