New Democrat leader John Horgan speaks to his caucus at the Village Green Hotel Wednesday.

NDP reaching out to Okanagan

B.C.'s NDP leader insists British Columbians are ready for a change

B.C.’s NDP leader insists British Columbians are ready for a change.

Most of the party’s caucus met at Vernon’s Village Green Hotel Wednesday.

‘We are trying to reach out to communities we don’t represent and Vernon is one of those,’ said leader John Horgan.

Horgan says people he talks to are frustrated with the Liberal government.

‘The B.C. Liberals have  made it more difficult for families not easier,’ he said adding that small businesses  have also been hurt by government policies.

Prior to Horgan’s arrival in Vernon, Vernon-Monashee Liberal MLA Eric Foster took aim at the NDP.

‘John Horgan and his NDP MLAs owe local families and businesses an explanation for why they want to drastically increase B.C.’s carbon tax,’ said Foster.

‘The NDP criticized our government for freezing the carbon tax, have promised to raise the carbon tax $10 per year, every year, and have even promised to end the important revenue neutrality of the carbon tax that ensures any money raised by it is passed back to British Columbians in tax cuts.  The NDP want to increase the carbon tax and cancel those tax cuts to spend the money.’

However, Horgan says Foster is wrong and the NDP have not made a decision on the carbon tax.

According to Horgan, he supports the work of a climate action task force appointed by Premier Christy Clark.

‘They suggest the carbon tax be increased in 2018,’ he said.

Among the topics being discussed by the NDP caucus in Vernon are the firing of the Vancouver  school board and the Ministry of Children and Families.

The provincial election is in May.

‘We will have a full slate of candidates,’ said Horgan of Vernon-Monashee and Shuswap.

The NDP caucus holds a public meeting Wednesday at the Village Green Hotel at 6:30 p.m.