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B.C. Election 2020: Leaders square off in high-stakes debate

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Furstenau, who has only led the Greens for a month, was fighting to introduce herself to British Columbians and not let the two more-established politicians dominate the stage. She succeeded as a confident, well-informed, well-spoken debater on the stage.

During a testy exchange over health care, Horgan held Wilkinson accountable for a decision made by the former Liberal government to cut care aid jobs.

“You fired 10,000 people, largely women, to give a tax break to wealthy people in B.C.,” Horgan said.

Wilkinson fired back: “Calling names and talking about things that happened 17 years ago will not help us in the future.” He said the Liberals built hospitals during their time in power, and accused the NDP of failing to build one.

“You sold the land, man,” an outraged Horgan responded, in reference to a Liberal program that sold government land, including a plot that was meant for a Surrey hospital.

Wilkinson also accused Horgan of not acting quickly enough to help struggling businesses, such as tourism operators, facing bankruptcies during the pandemic, and of having an affordable housing plan that is “a complete fiasco.”

“That’s not leadership, John,” he said.

Wilkinson was asked by moderator Shachi Kurl about the controversy over one of his incumbent MLA candidates making sexist remarks towards a NDP MLA, and the leader repeated again that the incident should not have happened. The other two leaders didn’t make hay of the scandal, but Horgan referenced it after Wilkinson accused the NDP leader of dividing people, rather than pulling them together.

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