Liberal candidate Laurie Throness (right) and Premier Christy Clark greet former mayor Clint Hames and other supporters during a nomination meeting at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel on Saturday morning.

Premier calls for ‘free-enterprise coalition’ to win byelection

The B.C. Liberal Party flexed its political muscle in the Chilliwack-Hope riding Saturday.



The B.C. Liberal Party flexed it’s political muscle in the Chilliwack-Hope riding Saturday drawing a 250-plus crowd to acclaim Laurie Throness as the party’s byelection candidate.

Premier Christy Clark kicked off the meeting with a fiery campaign-style speech calling for support of the “thin blue line” of the free-enterprise coalition to stop the New Democrats.

“The NDP is making promises they can’t pay for,” she said. “We will be honest about what we can and cannot do.”

Former Conservative MP Chuck Strahl repeated the theme of the need for a conservative alliance as he introduced Throness to a standing ovation.

Neither Clark nor Strahl predicated a cakewalk to victory in this staunchly conservative riding.

“This is a ground war,” Strahl exhorted the crowd, asking them to talk up the B.C. Liberal record around office water coolers, and to “roll up their sleeves” and volunteer their time during the byelection campaign.

“We know what the stakes are, we know the opportunity that’s ours, if we play our cards right,” he said.

Clark said the free-enterprise coalition needs to stand together to win the byelection, pointing out that byelections are traditionally unfavourable to governing parties.

“This is going to be a tough byelection to win,” she said. “We are really going to have to sweat to make this happen.”

Throness said in his acceptance speech that B.C. “can’t afford” an NDP government based on democratic-socialist principles as set out in the party’s constitution.

“I thought socialism had gone out of style, along with disco boots and banana bikes,” he said.

A strong Liberal/Conservative alliance is needed to keep the NDP from forming government as a new economic storm looms on the horizon, he said.

“Now is not the time to hand the keys of the treasury to a party that’s stuck in the past … that can only spend other people’s money,” he said.

Throness said in the upcoming byelection campaign he will “boldly defend” the B.C. Liberal economic record, which shows the government is “doing better” than the federal Conservatives and still spending more on health and social programs “than ever before.”

“We are going to continue to provide for British Columbians in need,” he said.

Dale Wheeldon, president of the riding’s constituency association, said after the meeting that he was pleased with the “fantastic” turn-out at what was billed as a “Super Saturday” blitz to kick off the party’s byelection campaign.

He also repeated the theme of the need for a conservative coalition to fend off the NDP.

“We need a coalition of right-wing conservatives and Liberals to support free-enterprise under one banner to defeat the NDP in this riding,” he said.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

UPDATE: Police probe fuel truck and train collision in Port Coquitlam

CP Rail reporting no injuries, driver of truck is safe.

Knitting for a cause

Tamara Cockroft knits “warm hugs” for babies

‘Restless night’ for Semiahmoo First Nation after tsunami warning

Alaska earthquake puts Semiahmoo First Nation on notice

UPDATE: Pioneer Ave filming to include snow effects, stunt driving and fire arms

Pioneer Avenue to be backdrop for scenes set in 1950s

Week in Review – January 19

Movie filming, water upgrades and more

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Homeless evicted from First Nation reserve land say they have nowhere to go

‘Why not just let us stay until spring?’ one camper at Chilliwack site pleads

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

UPDATED: 10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Five charged in bid to shut pop-up pot market in Vancouver’s Robson Square

Marijuana flower, edibles, money and some weapons were seized as part of weekend raid

Most Read