All Candidate Debate: Skeena Riding

Hillary Johnson

As the snap provincial election nears, candidates from the Skeena riding gathered last night at the Terrace Standard to debate local issues. Among the topics discussed were housing, infrastructure, the economy, health and child care, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross talked about responsible resource development and said that since Terrace is a service hub, the city should benefit from surrounding industrial projects.

"Right now, we are in uncertain times when our economy is taking a hit with the COVID-19 pandemic lots of small businesses and restaurants are being hit hard. The tourism industry is being hit even harder. The BC Liberals have a bold vision to restore BC economic advantage to get people bustling in the economy again. We will eliminate the PST for a year and put in 3% the following year. This will save an average family of four $1,700."

BC NDP candidate Nicole Halbauer says her education has given her a thorough understanding of business and industry. She ensures that the NDP government will advocate affordability for all. They plan to freeze rent until the end of 2021, and cap increases after.

"If you want to attract families, you need jobs, and you need somebody to help with the children while you are at work. That's why John Horgan and I have committed to the 10 dollars a day child care. We have committed to ensuring not only the spots available here in Skeena but that there is training for early education educators and that the wages are topped up to show it's an attractive industry."

Independent candidate Martin Holzbauer says he will advocate for an increase in locally-based jobs and improved living expenses. He also expressed concerns about the rise in drug overdoses within the Northwest. He would like to see all parties work together when achieving common goals.

"I'm here to represent the people who are so disillusioned with the political process that they are no longer participating in the process. Most importantly, future generations will feel the effects of our past, current and future decisions."

The Smithers District Chamber of commerce will be hosting the Stikine all candidate debate tonight at 7 pm. This is a virtual event only and can be streamed on the Smithers Interior News Facebook page. 

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