Canada Clark, Horgan get personal in scrappy leaders debate

16:45  21 april  2017
16:45  21 april  2017 Source:   vancouversun.com

B.C. NDP offers up yearly $400 rent rebate

  B.C. NDP offers up yearly $400 rent rebate B.C. NDP offers up yearly $400 rent rebateHorgan said that as premier he would introduce an annual $400 renter's rebate if his party wins the provincial election on May 9.

B.C.’s election campaign veered sharply into personal attacks and name-calling on Thursday, in a confrontational first leaders ’ debate . The B.C. Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns accused each other of dragging the debate into the mud during a raucous first 30 minutes in which NDP Leader John

NDP leader ’s shots at ‘Calm’ Christy Clark signalled B.C.’s return to bare-knuckle politics.

042017-ElxnBC_20170420-234342203-ElxnBC_20170420-W.jpg © JONATHAN HAYWARD 042017-ElxnBC_20170420-234342203-ElxnBC_20170420-W.jpg

B.C.’s election campaign veered sharply into personal attacks and name-calling on Thursday, in a confrontational first leaders’ debate.

The B.C. Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns accused each other of dragging the debate into the mud during a raucous first 30 minutes in which NDP Leader John Horgan proved the most aggressive — some might argue too aggressive — debater of the trio.

It started with Horgan defending his party’s platform as fully costed, a day after the Liberals accused him of more than $6 billion in improperly costed promises. 

Clark calls on Ottawa to ban coal exports

  Clark calls on Ottawa to ban coal exports Premier Christy Clark wants the federal government to ban the shipment of thermal coal through ports in British Columbia after the United States announced new tariffs on softwood lumber. Clark said she has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and asked that Ottawa act by stopping the export of the coal, including from the United States.

Incumbent Christy Clark and challenger John Horgan lost little time getting to the rough stuff in the first debate of the 2017 election campaign, broadcast Thursday morning on radio and over the Internet. Less than 10 minutes was gone on the clock at host station News 1130 when the two leaders were at it.

B.C. Liberal leader Clark and NDP leader Horgan debate education investment. UBC political science professor David Moscrop said, overall, personal attacks weren't as prominent during this debate as they can get during a federal election.

“That is just not true though. … The NDP plan is not costed,” said Liberal Leader Christy Clark. “Just 14 of the promises that they laid out were costed, it’s a $6 billion hole in that. And yesterday.”

“Yesterday, your finance minister made an embarrassment of himself,” interjected Horgan, referring to a press conference in which Mike de Jong was challenged by reporters for incorrectly summarizing the NDP platform.

“Whenever she gets in a corner she makes stuff up, and this is why British Columbians have no confidence in the B.C. Liberals,” said Horgan.

“You’ve got to use some real facts, not alternative facts. Where is (White House press secretary) Sean Spicer? Is he going to be rolling in here any minute now?”

Housing, economy feature in final B.C. debate

  Housing, economy feature in final B.C. debate Housing, economy feature in final B.C. debateLiberal Leader Christy Clark is trying to maintain her party's 16-year grip on power and while her record was a target for her opponents, Clark was also on the offensive as she took shots at the NDP and Green party's financial policies as a risk to an economy that has led growth across the country.

When John Horgan squared off against Christy Clark in Thursday’s radio debate , the tough-talking NDP leader brought along a cue card with some important reminders for himself. They’re more than happy to see him get personal and chippy with Clark .

Why John Horgan got scrappy in the B.C. election debate . NDP leader ’s shots at ‘Calm’ Christy Clark signalled B.C.’s return to bare-knuckle politics. Watch Highlights from BC Leaders Debate 2017 Video Online, on GlobalNews.ca.

“Mr. Horgan, we didn’t make up five balanced budgets,” replied Clark.

At one point during another testy exchange, Clark turned to Horgan and said, “Calm down, John,” before briefly placing her hand on his arm. 

“The premier kept wanting to poke and poke,” Horgan told media afterwards. “She was physically pushing me. What was I supposed to do?”

Clark said she wasn’t trying to offend him, though her campaign did immediately launch a coordinated Twitter campaign using the hashtag #CalmDownJohn.

For Horgan, the event marked his most high-profile appearance so far and a chance to introduce himself to voters. He was left to walk a careful line between being critical of Clark’s premiership and appearing too aggressive or mean.

New Democrats immediately hailed Horgan’s performance as that of a champion and fighter for the common person, who is fed up by 16 years of Liberal government. He vigorously attacked the Liberal record on housing affordability, seniors care homes, education underfunding, the Site C dam project and transportation projects like a bridge to replace the Massey tunnel.

Post-debate poll: Horgan wins — but only by a slim margin

  Post-debate poll: Horgan wins — but only by a slim margin Post-debate poll: Horgan wins — but only by a slim marginWith no major flubs or knock-out punches during the only televised leaders’ debate of the election campaign, B.C. residents say the NDP’s John Horgan won the night — but only by a slim margin.

Housing, the high cost of living and gridlock emerged as the top provincial election issues discussed in the first leaders debate April 20 featuring NDP Leader John Horgan , Liberal Leader Christy Clark and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

· John Horgan leads on 5 of the 8 attributes, but not with numbers as high as Clark gets on her 3 leading attributes. Televised Leaders Debate Nearly six-in-ten (57%) British Columbians said they watched at least some of the televised leaders debate or saw news coverage/clips of it.

Liberals accused him of condescendingly talking down to a strong female leader (a term called “mansplaining”). B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver, who was at times drowned out by the bickering, said both leaders were disrespectful. “It’s not my style,” he told media, after. “I thought it was pretty petty actually.”

The performance was contrary to the debate preparation Horgan had received, in which he was encouraged to stay calm, face the camera and stick clearly to his messaging. 

Instead, Horgan often turned to physically confront Clark, interrupted her, clashed with moderator Bill Good over whether he was receiving equal response time and appeared exasperated by Clark’s answers.

“If you want to just keep doing your thing, I will watch you for awhile, I know you like that,” he said at one point when Clark interrupted him. Horgan later said he was trying to portray her as someone who likes being fromnt-and-centre in frequent photo-ops.

Both campaigns will now try to capitalize upon the momentum they believe was generated by their leader.

Clark followed up the debate by holding a rally at a construction firm associated with the bridge project, wearing a blue hard hat. She used the project — which the NDP have not said they’d support — as a rallying cry for building the province and investing in jobs. Horgan headed to Victoria for an evening rally.

rshaw@postmedia.com

twitter.com/robshaw_vansun

Jobs, affordability big promises in B.C. election .
Jobs, affordability big promises in B.C. electionCampaigning in the Kootenays, B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark repeated her party's promise to protect jobs in resource industries like forestry and mining.

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