Students could see less debt and more grants if the BC NDP win the May 14 election.
Part of the NDP platform is an extra $100 million for grants and training for post-secondary students confirmed NDP candidate for Vancouver-Langara electoral district George Chow.
This program would be paid for with the return to a corporation tax on banks and financial institutions previously scrapped by the BC Liberals in 2010.
One of the NDP’s other ideas has been to lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Chow says it may encourage young people to vote, but being honest with voters would achieve more.
“When you talk about what we can do as a government we can only do so much. I think the tendency for us as politicians is to promise the moon, and I think that has to change,” said Chow.
Although the previous two BC NDP Premiers have resigned after scandals, and the current leader Adrian Dix also resigned in similar circumstances whilst working for the party, Chow is confident the public will trust the NDP again.
“After the writ is dropped, we’ll have our platform…and the public will get a sense to see whether we’re to be trusted or not, and I hope they will [trust us],” he said.
The NDP currently stand 20 points ahead of the ruling BC Liberals in the polls and Chow is hopeful for victory.
“I think with the way the poll is showing, and also what the people want, I have a fair chance of being elected.”
Vancouver-Langara has been a Liberal stronghold for the last 20 years. Moira Stilwell took 58 per cent of the vote for the Liberals in the 2009 election, with the BC NDP managing 35 per cent. Even with such odds Chow is optimistic about winning, adding that B.C. needs change and people are yearning for it.
“If you tell people we’re going to raise tax to do something, if you actually do it, people will be more than happy.”
Born in China, Chow settled in Vancouver in 1965. He graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from UBC, and went on to have a 32-year career at BC Hydro. Prominent in the Vancouver Chinese community, Chow was actively involved in the building of the Chinese Cultural Centre in the 1970’s and helped organiZe Vancouver’s first dragon boat race held in 1986.
The Vancouver-Langara constituency contains around 40 per cent Chinese-Canadians, which Chow hopes will be an advantage for him.
“With my experience, and my knowledge of the city and the community, and the demographics, I could very well do okay here,” said Chow.
Serving two terms with Vision Vancouver from 2005 to 2011, Chow didn’t stand for re-election in order to become more involved in provincial politics. Chow’s hopeful that as a provincial politician he will be able to achieve more.
“It’s a different thing. You can resolve more issues in a more fundamental way,” said Chow.
Reported by Ben Bulmer