BC Liberals to nominate David Grewal as Vancouver-Fraserview candidate

BC Liberals to nominate David Grewal as Vancouver-Fraserview candidate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2020

Photo Below

VANCOUVER — Continuing the party’s renewal ahead of the next provincial election, local entrepreneur and community leader David Grewal will be the next BC Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview.

Joined by BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, Grewal will be officially acclaimed at a virtual nomination meeting on July 14, 2020.

The BC Liberals held the seat of Vancouver-Fraserview from 2001 until 2017. Grewal will immediately start working to close the 989-vote gap from the 2017 election.

“I’m proud to see the calibre of British Columbians putting their names forward to run with the renewed and energized BC Liberal team,” said Wilkinson. “With his deep roots in the Vancouver community, David is an excellent candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview as we build momentum towards an election that could be triggered by the NDP at any time. Our team is ready to fight for economic prosperity and opportunity for all of BC.”

“I’m honoured to represent the BC Liberals in Vancouver-Fraserview, a community where my family and I have deep roots,” said Grewal. “When my grandfather moved to this community in 1934, he and his generation paved the way for the opportunities that my family, community, and I have been able to build our lives on. I want BC to be a place where hard working families, individuals, and business owners truly feel they can get ahead and build the lives they want.”

David Grewal will be the fifth candidate to be nominated by the BC Liberals for the upcoming election, following the nomination of Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidate Roxanne Helme in June. The party continues to open nominations and plans to nominate more candidates throughout the summer, heading into a potential election as early as this fall.

– 30 –

Contact:

Deanie Wong
778-994-5083
deanie.wong@bcliberals.com

Candidate Biography:

Born and raised in Vancouver, David Grewal has been a long-time community leader, an entrepreneur, and a mentor in the Vancouver region.

In 2003, he co-founded Absolute Energy Inc., which is today the largest natural gas supply management and brokerage firm in B.C. with clients throughout North America

David is passionate about community involvement and has been active in various charitable causes and neighbourhood organizations. He has served as chair of his local community association, and a business improvement association board member. 

As a mentor and believer in the power of youth involvement, David has spoken to young people about entrepreneurship and the importance of being actively engaged in their communities.

With an unwavering dedication to his community, diverse experiences and background, David is ready to ensure his constituents’ voices are heard in Victoria and be a strong leader for Vancouver-Fraserview.

BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie disappointed by inaction from NDP government on ICBC

BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie disappointed by inaction from NDP government on ICBC

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2020

MAPLE RIDGE-PITT MEADOWS — BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie is calling on John Horgan’s NDP government to provide a solution to ICBC’s road test backlog.

“Constituents from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows have reached out to me about the NDP’s lack of action to get ICBC road tests going again,” said Ashlie. “People who need to get to work or school are unable to get their license any time soon because the NDP have no plan. This is another roadblock preventing people from getting back to work, including young people who are simply trying to plan and save money by working this summer.”

ICBC road tests were paused to accommodate physical distancing measures meant to flatten the COVID-19 curve. However, as BC is moving into phase 3 of the reopening, the NDP say they can’t expand road testing until they have sufficient personal protective equipment. These excuses by the NDP simply says to British Columbians – ‘We don’t have a plan.’

“Despite reaching out to MLA Lisa Beare numerous times, a local constituent has informed me that she has not received a single response,” Ashlie continues. “This lack of consideration for an important matter impacting British Columbians throughout the province is another indication that this NDP government has no idea what they’re doing. We need a plan to get British Columbians back on track now.

With the backlog potentially pushing tests into 2021 and beyond, the NDP need to provide British Columbians with a plan on how to deal with this everyday necessity.

– 30 –

Contact:

Deanie Wong
deanie.wong@bcliberals.com

BC Liberals to nominate David Grewal as Vancouver-Fraserview candidate

BC Liberal members nominate Roxanne Helme, prepare to win back Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Photo Below

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2020

OAK BAY-GORDON HEAD — With an election potentially just weeks away, BC Liberal members in Oak Bay-Gordon Head have elected community leader and lawyer Roxanne Helme, to be their next candidate in what’s expected to be a tight three-way race following the retirement of Andrew Weaver.

Despite a shift to mail-in voting due to COVID-19, over 60% of party members in Oak Bay-Gordon Head sent in their ballots to select among two candidates to represent them as the BC Liberals continue the party’s renewal in anticipation of an election that could happen at any time.

“Roxanne has deep roots and a track record of leadership in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and I’m delighted to welcome her to our BC Liberal team as we prepare for the upcoming election,” said Wilkinson. “With strong candidates like Roxanne joining our renewed team, the people of Oak Bay-Gordon Head have a clear choice for economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and opportunity for all of BC.”

“I can’t wait to get to work earning the support of the residents of Oak Bay-Gordon Head,” said Helme. “Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals are the only team that will deliver an economic recovery that benefits all British Columbians, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Roxanne Helme is the fourth new candidate to be nominated by the BC Liberals for the upcoming election. The party continues to open nominations throughout BC as more candidates put their names forward to represent their constituents.

– 30 –

Contact:

Deanie Wong
778-994-5083
deanie.wong@bcliberals.com

Candidate Biography:

Roxanne Helme is a community leader and lawyer in Victoria, with over 30 years of experience. She specializes in conducting trials, appeals, and judicial reviews for private citizens.

In addition to her legal background, Roxanne is a passionate volunteer in her community. She is a former member of the Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board, the Board of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and the Leadership Council of the Coalition to End Homelessness.

Roxanne holds a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Victoria where she continues to serve as a guest lecturer, educating a new generation of leaders.

Roxanne resides with her family in Oak Bay and is proud to call this community her home.

Statement from BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie

Statement from BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2020

MAPLE RIDGE-PITT MEADOWS — BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie made the following statement today on John Horgan’s plans for a fall 2020 election campaign:

“Since I became a candidate in January, my team and I have been preparing for an election we know could come at any time. We’re fired up and ready to take on the NDP in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows whenever John Horgan chooses to trigger an election.

“However, I’ve been talking to community members and voters since the beginning of the pandemic, and absolutely nobody is asking for an election right now. They want elected officials to get on with the work of economic recovery — not play political games for partisan gain.

“If a second wave of the virus comes this fall as expected, our province needs to be focused on keeping vulnerable citizens healthy and safe — not putting them at risk with an election campaign a whole year ahead of schedule. The public health restrictions on gatherings and activities could make it almost impossible for voters to get to know their candidates, and safely participate in the democratic process.

“I’m calling on John Horgan and his MLAs to state clearly that they will not trigger an election in fall 2020. And if they won’t make that commitment, they should tell British Columbians why.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashlie has been at the heart of providing primary care to families and seniors through her work with the Ridge Meadows Divisions of Family Practice. A two-term Maple Ridge councillor and former school board chair, she is a mother of three and grandmother of two.

-30-

Contact:

Deanie Wong
778-994-5083
deanie.wong@bcliberals.com

BC Liberals to nominate David Grewal as Vancouver-Fraserview candidate

NEWS RELEASE: BC Liberals call out Horgan’s hazardous snap election plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2020

VANCOUVER – The BC Liberals are raising the alarm on the BC NDP’s plans for a fall 2020 election – right when a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit.

In a recording obtained by the BC Liberals from a June 9th NDP online campaign training event, John Horgan tells participants: “The election could come at any time. This fall, next spring.” The training session was the first in an intensive two-week program focused on how to campaign during a pandemic, including tactics geared to a “socially-distant election”.

“The timing of the next election is entirely up to the NDP. If there’s a provincial election in fall 2020, it’s because John Horgan chooses to trigger one,” said Mary Polak, BC Liberal House Leader and MLA for Langley – pointing out that the next election is not scheduled to take place until October 16, 2021. “If John Horgan wants an election this fall, he needs to explain to British Columbians why the NDP’s political agenda is more important than their health, safety, and economic recovery.”

With the timing of the next election in the hands of the NDP, the BC Liberals have been focused on preparing for a campaign that could come anytime – nominating new candidates at an aggressive pace and steadily closing the fundraising gap with the NDP.

However, in a letter sent to all major political parties on April 22, Elections BC cited guidance from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that “elections represent a significant public health risk, and…should be deferred until such time in the future that they can safely be held.”

“The BC Liberals will be ready to fight an election anytime John Horgan decides to trigger it — but we believe the health and safety of British Columbians is way more important than political games.” said Emile Scheffel, BC Liberal Executive Director. “That’s why we’re calling on John Horgan to rule out an election this fall — or clearly tell British Columbians why he believes partisan politics should take priority over beating the virus and getting BC on track for economic recovery.”

The BC Liberals will add a fourth new candidate to their renewed team on Wednesday, as mail-in ballots are counted from a nomination race in Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

-30-

Recording of BC NDP June 9 training session (Fall election comment at 3:24 mark)

Contact:

Deanie Wong
deanie.wong@bcliberals.com

The NDP’s $3 billion WorkSafeBC mystery

The NDP’s $3 billion WorkSafeBC mystery

John Horgan’s NDP are ducking and dodging repeated questions about the financial state of WorkSafeBC — the agency responsible for keeping workers safe on the job.

Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals are working hard to get straight answers and accountability on what’s happened to the money hard-working British Columbians have entrusted to WorkSafe BC.

Add your name if you believe British Columbians deserve answers on what happened to the $3-billion WorkSafeBC surplus — and why the NDP won’t help small businesses with the costs of PPE to keep their workers and customers safe.

So what happened when — and who knew what? We’ve done our best to break down for you what we know so far:

May 11, 2020: Andrew Wilkinson writes a letter to John Horgan, asking the NDP government to use a portion of the WorkSafeBC surplus to provide partial refunds to employers purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves as they try to safely reopen their businesses. This proposal was based on the last publicly available financial reports from WorkSafeBC, which indicated a surplus of $2.9 billion at the end of 2018.

May 22, 2020: The Vancouver Sun publishes a Friday-evening story by reporter Rob Shaw, headlined: “WorkSafeBC has lost billions, can’t afford to help businesses buy PPE.” In it, NDP labour minister Harry Bains says the following:

“WorkSafeBC is not immune to COVID-19 either, their investments have sunk to almost zero when it comes to the surplus money they are sitting on,” Bains told Postmedia. “So almost all of the surplus has been wiped out a couple weeks ago because of our stock market, and that’s where the money was invested.”  

May 23, 2020: The BC Liberals issue a statement calling for clarity and a full accounting of WorkSafeBC’s financial losses, which the government ignores.

May 24, 2020: WorkSafeBC publishes a rare Sunday statement on its financial position, directly contradicting Minister Bains’ claim:

“Currently, for purposes of contingency planning, WorkSafeBC’s actuaries are considering multiple possible scenarios, based on widely varying economic forecasts. Some of these scenarios would result in a year-end fair value funding position at, or even slightly below, the 130 per cent funding target/threshold. Other scenarios would suggest lesser impacts in the current year. While current year-to-date investment losses are estimated to be approximately 5 per cent (or $1 billion, on an asset base of approximately $20 billion), it is impossible at this point to know what the actual final results will be.”  

May 25, 2020: The Vancouver Sun publishes a follow-up story, detailing the contradictions between Bains’ and WorkSafeBC’s accounts. A WorkSafeBC executive is quoted as saying: “The markets have been very volatile, but we are still in surplus.” However, both Bains and WorkSafeBC CEO Anne Naser refuse to grant the Sun an interview.

May 26, 2020: Andrew Wilkinson writes a letter to John Horgan asking for clarification on Bains’s claims around the disappearance of WorkSafeBC’s surplus, as well as disclosure of WorkSafeBC’s investments and audited 2019 Annual Report, to be followed by a report from the independent Auditor General.

The BC Liberals will continue to push for answers and accountability on the state of WorkSafeBC — and stand up for small businesses, workers, and taxpayers.

Add your name if you believe British Columbians deserve answers on what happened to the $3-billion WorkSafeBC surplus — and why the NDP won’t help small businesses with the costs of PPE to keep their workers and customers safe.

Background Information — WorkSafeBC Accident Fund Surplus

  • The last publicly available financial report from WorkSafeBC shows a $3.6 billion reserve and a $2.9 billion surplus as of December 31, 2018.
  • According to that report, WSBC had an investment portfolio of $17.647 billion. Of that amount, 45%, or approximately $8 billion, was invested in equities, while 29% was real assets and 26% was fixed-income investments.
  • Based on stock market indices, $8 billion in equities on December 31, 2018 should be worth as much as $8.8 billion today.
  • Even ignoring the gains from 2018 to January 2020, a 15% loss in the stock market on $8 billion would be $1.2 billion, not $3 billion as claimed by Bains.
  • The WorkSafeBC board of directors, appointed by the NDP government, is responsible for approving the investment of the fund, subject to the supervision and control of the Minister of Finance. The fund is managed by the BC Investment Management Corporation.