Incumbent BC Liberal candidate Eric Foster is vying for his fourth straight term in Vernon-Monashee. (Confirmed)

Incumbent BC Liberal candidate Eric Foster is vying for his fourth straight term in Vernon-Monashee. (Confirmed)

BC VOTES 2020: Meet your Vernon-Monashee Candidates: Eric Foster, BC Liberals

Incumbent Eric Foster is vying for the Vernon-Monashee seat for his fourth straight term

What do you think is the most important issue in this constituency and how do you propose to tackle it?

The North Okanagan is so reliant on tourism and hospitality that restrictions to travel, due to COVID-19, have deeply impacted our economy. Some businesses have closed or severely scaled back so that employees are out of work or getting fewer hours. Others are barely hanging on.

A BC Liberal government will eliminate the two per cent small business income tax in a move that will help businesses, workers and families when it is needed most.

We have also committed to delivering emergency financing for some businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, through a loan guarantee program for the province’s tourism and hospitality businesses.

How will you advocate a robust COVID-19 economic recovery for small businesses in the North Okanagan?

The BC Liberals are the only party capable of taking the bold steps necessary to help our struggling businesses as we emerge from this pandemic.

The BC Liberals will:

• eliminate the two per cent small business income tax to give more help to businesses, workers, and families.

• eliminate the PST for one year, followed by cutting it to three per cent in year two, to stimulate spending.

• deliver emergency financing for businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, through a loan guarantee program for the province’s tourism and hospitality businesses.

With the rapid rise of overdose deaths amid the COVID-19 pandemic, how will your party plan to handle the simultaneous opioid crisis?

I hear from families that are begging for more treatment options for their loved ones.

When people reach their breaking point, there is literally NOWHERE to go. No beds in limited facilities or wraparound care to support the person as a whole. We need options for everyone: street addicts, youth and vulnerable citizens struggling with mental health issues.

This is a matter of life or death.

A BC Liberal government is prepared to provide $58 million to hire 100 psychiatric social workers and registered nurses to staff joint teams with police to answer mental health calls.

Health and safety are at the forefront of British Columbians’ minds. How will your party work to keep British Columbians safe throughout COVID-19?

Crime rates are rising. Times call for more effective community policing and investing in integrated police and mental health teams to free up police resources to deal with growing disorder in our communities.

Let’s increase the capacity of existing Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Teams and fund more police officers to respond to crime and mental health-related emergency calls.

The BC Liberals will hire 40 additional, full-time Crown prosecutors and additional staff to process charges and hear criminal trials in the courts. We will provide the B.C. Prosecution Service with needed tools to reduce delays, crackdown on crime and improve public safety.

READ MORE: ‘Totally unnecessary’ – Vernon-Monashee MLA reacts to election call

READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Vernon chamber hosts virtual candidates forum

READ MORE: Leaders of B.C.’s three main political parties to take part in televised debate

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