NDP leadership hopeful seeks northwest votes
RAISING economic literacy and having a more inclusive party tops the list of one person running to replace Carole James as leader of the provincial NDP.
John Horgan, MLA for Juan de Fuca in the suburbs west of Victoria, said the party needs to recognize that it needs private investment for the economy to grow.
In turn, investors need to understand that regulations are needed to protect the environment, workers, and allows communities to grow.
"If capital or investment or the business community is prepared to sit down with me and with communities where they want to invest, and find that path that will lead to profit for shareholders but also benefit the community and to families and to neighbourhoods, then I'm all for it," he said.
Businesses aren't only looking for low taxes, Horgan said.
"Money also wants stable social programs so that their work force can be well informed and well educated, and ....modern infrastructure, so we can get our products to port and to markets overseas," he said.
"A modern economy needs three things," he continued. "It needs investment, it needs modern infrastructure, and it needs skilled labour."
For example, Horgan said the province needs to make an investment in the northwest transmission line, which will boost the economy in the area as it ties into proposed mining projects.
"As the (former) mines critic, I'm very aware of the opportunity that the electrification of Hwy37 and the prospect of one or two large copper mines presents for Terrace as a hub," he said, adding that the NDP has proposed a mining commission to be located in the area.
"That's one symbol of continued industrial development in the northwest," he said.
Another concern of his is export of raw logs.
"We need to find ways to keep people working on the land base...but also trying to find ways ensure that small remanufacturers can get started and have access to that lumber," he said, saying there needs to be a connection between companies and the communities they are in.
Horgan is one of the five candidates running for the NDP leadership and was in town today speaking with school union and party members.
He was in Prince Rupert yesterday and is in Kitimat this afternoon.