ELECTION BRIEFS: Leaders to debate on TV, radio

B.C. party leaders will take part in at least two debates

B.C. party leaders will take part in at least two debates, one on TV and one on radio, in the run-up to the May 14 provincial election.

CKNW radio is hosting a leaders’ debate at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 26. Invited to take part are B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark, NDP leader Adrian Dix, Green Party leader Jane Sterk and B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins.

A one-hour television debate is set for the following Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. on Global TV, also featuring the four major party leaders.

Clark said Tuesday she is challenging Dix to a one-on-one televised debate proposed for May 6. Dix said it would be “disrespectful” to voters and other party leaders to exclude them.


Poll finds 20 per cent undecided


The NDP has a 17-point lead on the B.C. Liberals among decided voters, but one in five people are still undecided, according to a poll released this week by Insights West.

The NDP had support of 45 per cent of decided voters, compared to 28 per cent for the B.C. Liberals. The Green Party was supported by 15 per cent, with 10 per cent backing the B.C. Conservatives.

Insights West president Steve Mossop said the poll shows 25 per cent of undecided voters are leaning towards the B.C. Liberals, with 20 per cent leaning NDP.

The NDP’s biggest lead was in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. In other parts of B.C., the combined decided and leaning vote was closer, with 37 per cent for the NDP and 33 per cent for the B.C. Liberals.

The poll contacted 855 adult B.C. residents in the last week of March.


NDP offers movie tax break


An NDP government would increase tax credits for movie, TV and video game production in B.C., to counter higher tax breaks offered by Ontario and Quebec.

NDP leader Adrian Dix said Tuesday that if his party forms a government in the May 14 election, it will increase the tax credit for labour expenditures by foreign and domestic productions in B.C. from 33 per cent to 40. That would cost the provincial treasury $45 million a year, assuming increased movie and TV production.

In 2009, Ontario stepped up its tax credits to 25 per cent of all spending for movie and TV production by foreign companies in the province. Dix said the bigger tax break is to reverse a decline of 3,500 direct and indirect jobs in B.C. last year.