British Columbians are going to the polls next month after B.C. Premier and provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader John Horgan called a snap election on Monday.
During a news conference Horgan announced that he met with B.C. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin and she granted his request to dissolve the legislature. The general election will happen on Oct. 24.
Horgan said that he struggled with the decision to call an election during the COVID-19 pandemic, but believes now is the time.
We’ve accomplished a lot in the last 3 1/2 years. But COVID-19 has thrown us all a curveball. Right now, we need to know that people are with us in our plan to fight this pandemic and build an economic recovery. I'm asking for your support to keep BC on the right track. pic.twitter.com/QhKFjPFIAx
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) September 21, 2020
Horgan said that the election can be conducted safely, and that B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Elections B.C. have worked very hard to make sure that British Columbians will not be putting themselves at risk.
There are some criticisms to Horgan’s decision to call an election in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, John Horgan chose politics over people,” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson.
“The only reason for this general election is to try and secure the jobs of the NDP … it’s not necessary.”
On Twitter, the British Columbia Green Party Leader, Sonia Furstenau said that she had met with Horgan on Friday, and told him that he had a stable government.
I met with @jjhorgan on Friday and told him he had a stable government. This election is completely unnecessary.
The NDP has chosen the pursuit of power over the health and safety of British Columbians. #bcpoli
— SoniaFurstenau (@SoniaFurstenau) September 21, 2020
“This election is completely unnecessary,” Furstenau wrote in a tweet. “The NDP has chosen the pursuit of power over the health and safety of British Columbians.”
With files from CBC News and Justin McElroy