NDP courts Green voters

BC Liberals fare better than NDP in poll on handling of economy

NDP calls for investigation into Christy Clark's secret corporate giveaway scheme

Minutes after Horgan's plea, Green party Leader Andrew Weaver arrived outside of the venue where Horgan spoke.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark is defending a little-known tax rebate program meant to attract global business to British Columbia that allowed TD Bank to claim a $2.8-million refund.

Making threats of trade retaliation during an election campaign is not the way to respond to the latest USA import duty on Canadian lumber, NDP leader John Horgan says.

Thirty-four per cent of B.C. residents surveyed think the BC NDP would do worse than the BC Liberals on job creation, taxation (35%), debt and contractual obligations (39%) and managing the provincial economy (40%).

Clark said on Friday the International Business Activity Act has created more revenue than it has cost and it's aimed at luring companies to B.C.

"The program was always aimed at companies that are going to create jobs in British Columbia, (and) I guess the folks at finance decided (TD Bank) met that goal in order for them to eligible", Clark said. "The evidence tells us that it's been a good investment".

Clark, at a campaign event in Richmond, said a Liberal government would "do what the courts say we need to do", and pay the rebate while defending the program, which she maintained has given the province a bigger return than it has paid out in tax breaks.

NDP Leader John Horgan said a government under his rule would refer B.C.'s International Business Activity program - whose beneficiaries were revealed this week to include TD Bank - to the Auditor General.

The program was created in 1988 during the former Social Credit government, and Horgan said that it was a modest program under the former Social Credit and New Democrat governments. The program gives away millions in taxpayer dollars to unnamed corporations with no discernible benefits for British Columbians.

NDP candidate David Eby is calling for the Auditor-General to investigate a shady corporate giveaway scheme spotlighted by a New York Times investigation this week.

Clark's proposed $70-per-tonne levy on thermal coal would also be applied to shipments from Alberta and Saskatchewan, which go to Asia through Prince Rupert port. US thermal coal, barred from export by Washington, Oregon and California, makes up the vast majority of B.C.'s thermal coal export volume.

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