Rustad/Conservatives Have Something Eby/NDP Don’t … Momentum!

It is the most encouraging indicator of any politician’s or party’s electoral campaign … momentum.

Ask those who remember Social Credit Bill Bennett’s defeat of the NDP’s Dave Barrett.

I was there, covering Bennett towards the end of one campaign … and still remember how poorly the Socreds (and almost a morose Bennett himself) seemed to be doing, up against the popular, affable Barrett.

Until the NDP leader, just weeks before election day, was quoted as saying something about that not being the time for government to exercise maximum restraint in public spending.

Oops!

Bennett became a different person: motivated, flying high on political adrenalin … promising taxpayers that, while Barrett and the NDP would spend, spend, spend their money, he and Social Credit would not and would show restraint with public tax dollars.

Bennett suddenly had momentum! And it carried him to victory.

Today, according to a poll released May 14 by Abacus Data, it’s John Rustad and the BC Conservatives who now have the momentum in BC.

The NDP still leads, with 40% public support, but DOWN 4% from the previous Abacus poll; BC Conservatives have 34%, UP 8%; and BC United dropped to 13%, DOWN another 4%.

“Interestingly, the BC NDP is ahead by 15 points among those aged 45 and over, is tied with the BC Conservatives among those aged 30 to 44, and trail the BC Conservatives by 7 among those under 30.”Interestingly, the BC NDP is ahead by 15 points among those aged 45 and over, is tied with the BC Conservatives among those aged 30 to 44, and trail the BC Conservatives by 7 among those under 30,” explained David Coletto of Abacus.

Results like that show me that’s it’s the Conservatives, not the NDP, that show greater promise for the future.

(You can read the full poll results here: https://abacusdata.ca/bc-poll-ndp-ahead-by-6/).

In April, a Research Co poll showed the NDP with 45% support, DOWN 1%; BC Conservatives 27%, UP 2%; and BC United at 15%, DOWN 2%.

The mainstream media pointed out the results show, if an election were held today, the NDP would still form another majority government.

But the election is not being held today … or for several more months (Oct 14, in fact) … and it’s the Conservative’s momentum I find really interesting.

A whopping 65% of respondents complained of falling behind in the cost of living battle … that’s bad for any incumbent government.

And here could lie the NDP’s Achilles heel: cost of living was the TOP issue for 68% in the poll and among other issues rated by importance: housing affordability, 54%; and healthcare, 41%. Only 26% rated reducing poverty and homelessness as a priority, and even fewer, 19% said drug issues were their major concern.

That’s bad news for the NDP, considering the emphasis their government has placed on those last two issues!

Rustad, meanwhile, has hammered other concerns: Ax the carbon tax; crack down on violent crime; end hard drug free handouts; ban tent cities; end ICBC’s basic vehicle insurance monopoly; allow private health care alongside public health care; reinstate unvaccinated, fired health care workers; expanding mining and LNG exports; and provincial control over Immigration (like the Quebec government has.)

Sure looks to me, once the campaigning begins in earnest, Rustad/Conservatives could make major inroads with urban voters on those top issues … outscoring the NDP’s social-conscience policies, promises and ideological priorities.

And if Rustad’s momentum continues, not even NDP government rebates giving taxpayers back some of the own cash will be enough!

Especially if Rustad/Conservatives highlight scheduled further increases in the carbon tax, year after year, right up to 2030!

Of course, the BC Conservatives could be vulnerable on some social issues, like parental rights in education, gay rights, gender issues etc. … but those are not showing up, so far, as the major voter concerns as the next election approaches.

So I doubt that even if Eby/NDP step up their focus/attacks on Rustad/Conservatives on those issues … it will stop the challengers’ momentum among voters hurting from those ever-increasing carbon taxes, the cost of living struggle now being felt by so many families and seniors, the heightened violent crime in urban BC and the province-wide systemic short-comings and failures in health care.

All adding up to a perfect opportunity for BC Conservatives to continue their growing momentum.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on “X” for FREE First Alerts to new postings on this BC Blog.)

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Re-Opening Beach Ave to Cars is BEST for the Environment

The car-haters are fuming!

Last week, Vancouver City Council rejected a 30-year “pie in the sky” proposal by the Vancouver Park Board for redevelopment of the West End waterfront.

Estimated price tag: $300 million (which, of course, would mean $2 Billion or more by the time it was completed … LOL!)

Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung called it a “fairytale plan”, as Council sent it back to the Park Board for a reality check.

Meanwhile, Council did approve bringing back two-way vehicle traffic along Beach Avenue between Stanley Park and Denman Street.

Right on!!

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, those I saw as just extreme left vehicle haters at the Park Board closed ALL Stanley Park roads to cars … severely restricting access to the 1,000-acre (405 hectare) Vancouver gem.

It was the dumbest move I had ever witnessed local politicians make: there was not a scintilla of scientific evidence I saw that ever showed people travelling in vehicles could spread COVID to others. In fact, sure seemed to me that pedestrians mingling on the seawall, speeding runners breathing heavily and panting cyclists represented more of a COVID health danger.

This was, in my view, just a hate-on for cars by extremists in power, come to fruition.

And to hell with the handicapped, seniors, families who needed vehicles to get around and restaurants/businesses in the park, or their hundreds of employees trying to make a living.

The hate-on for cars not only went on for far too long in Stanley Park, in various machinations, the radical lefties in charge at Vancouver City Hall joined their Park Board comrades in trying to punish the motoring public.

Vehicle access to many downtown streets was attacked/restricted/denied; parking areas were slashed; parking fees were multiplied; no left turn here, no right turn there, no turns at all; and no right turns on red became the rule.

Impact on the environment?

Well, almost all my trips downtown started to take five to eight minutes more since all these changes came into effect.

Getting there is sure no longer half the fun! It’s now often confusing, circuitous, even scary. (Check out the traffic lights/pattern northbound at Hornby/Nelson!!)

And think about the damage to air quality and the environment all these EXTRA punishments to motorists have produced: tens of thousands of cars every day travelling greater distances, idling more and taking longer to go anywhere or through the downtown.

Proof that for the car-haters, it’s not really about the environment: it’s targeting vehicles that motivates, just for the sake of targeting vehicles.

Beach Avenue is a perfect example.

For years, the anti-car extremists at the Park Board and City Hall have barred vehicles from exiting Stanley Park through Beach Avenue or Nelson Street or Alberni diverting ALL park traffic back to Georgia Street.

Been there; done that … and so have hundreds of thousands of other motorists bound for the Burrard Bridge, Kitsilano, the East End or Vancouver South.

Too bad, no one has ever calculated the EXTRA fuel, fumes, pollution forced on the citizens, visitors of Vancouver by having to divert back to very, very, busy Georgia Street and then back along Denman, Thurlow, Burrard to get to Kitsilano, False Creek, the East side or Granville or Main to get to Vancouver South!

The “environmentally-motivated” Park Board and Council were just blowing smoke … literally!! (Who advises them? The petro fuel industry?)

But change is coming …at last

“The new plan will see the road reopened to traffic in both ways, with plans to replace the beachside sidewalk with a new bike path and the installation of a new pedestrian path through the park,” Global News reported May 10.

“This was about balance,” said Councilor Kirby-Yung. “So it supports pedestrians, it supports cyclists and it supports traffic flow in the area.”

Exactly! Inclusion, sharing and equality.

But the car-haters don’t want balance and fairness: they want “car-cleansing”: a Stanley Park all but reserved for fit cyclists and really healthy pedestrians, capable of walking several kilometres … free of cars, seniors, handicapped and families.

So I have no doubt the anti-car crowd is not done yet.

Hopefully, the current Council will hold firm … cater to the majority… and do what’s REALLY best for the environment: end the war on drivers.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on “X” for FREE First Alerts to new postings on this Blog)

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