Dianne Watts officially running for leadership of BC Liberals, addresses key issues during announcement in Surrey

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It’s official.

Dianne Watts has just announced she will be running for leadership of the BC Liberals.

“All of us have one common goal. That is to bring our province back from a coalition government that is not only unstable but is determined to raise taxes, gut our natural resource sector and to drive jobs and investment out of this province. So today I am announcing I am putting my name forward to be the next leader of the BC Liberal Party.”

“I’m committed and I’m all in”

Speaking in Surrey this afternoon, Watts says she will be stepping down from her seat as MP and dedicating her time to BC.

“I will be resigning my seat as Member of Parliament, I will be stepping down from my role as Shadow Minister and dedicating 100 percent of my time to the people of British Columbia. People have value, they want to be heard and they want to contribute. I will go to every corner of this province and talk to British Columbians. Past BC Liberal members, present members, future members and people who have never joined a political party in their life, I’m committed and I’m all in.”

Watts calls for the BC Liberals to reconnect with average British Columbians

She says the BC Liberals were disconnected from British Columbians for and were not addressing issues that mattered to them, and that’s why they were defeated.

“What I see and what many of you saw in this last election was a disconnect with the BC Liberals and British Columbians which was clearly articulated in the polls. So we have an opportunity. We have to reconnect, we have to create and build a new future and a new vision together. We already have a strong economy and we have that foundation to build upon. I believe like many British Columbians that a strong economy and balanced budgets must have a purpose That purpose must be our children, our families, our seniors and our most vulnerable.”

She went on to speak about the issues that many British Columbians are worried about, touching on the environment, economy and transportation.

“We must develop a comprehensive energy strategy that maps out a vision for the future, supporting jobs across the entire sector. Oil and gas, LNG, hydroelectric, solar, wind and other renewables. In other words, a common-sense vision for the future. We all know the highest greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles and congestion. There are too many British Columbians who sit in gridlock day after day. We don’t have a proper public transportation system in place. The common sense solution is to ensure people and goods arrive at their destination efficiently. The first step is to have a public transit and transportation strategy for BC. One that includes the federal government, provincial government, regional government and local government. Rapid transit lines need to be built right now. ”

Watts takes on NDP-Green coalition; “they have chased away billions of dollars in investment and job creation”

But Watts also took time to highlight some of the issues she sees with the current minority government and the promises the BC NDP have made and have been implementing since taking office.

“In just a few weeks the NDP-Green coalition have chased away billions of dollars in investment and job creation. They inherited one of the biggest surpluses in BC history and still, your taxes went up. They raised personal income tax, business taxes. They’re actually punishing job creators of this province. They raised the carbon tax 50 percent over the next three years and made it non-revenue neutral. That means there’s a cost to all of us. So where is all of that money going? What’s the plan? It’s a mystery. No one knows.”

So far we know Sam Sulliavan and Dianne Watts have officially put their names forward.
Tomorrow Michael Lee, Andrew Wilkinson and Mike Bernier will be announcing their intentions to run.