ELECTION 2015: Tories rally business allies against NDP win

James Moore, Stockwell Day stoke memories of B.C. in 1990s, warn federal NDP win would devastate economy

Former senior Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day and Industry Minister James Moore

Former senior Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day and Industry Minister James Moore

A leaked Conservative letter to B.C. business leaders is urging them to pull out the stops to fight a potential NDP federal election victory that it warns would devastate the province’s economy.

“This election will be decided in B.C.,” said the letter from Industry Minister James Moore and former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day.

“We could end up with an NDP national government,” they said, predicting the result will be “higher taxes and a broken economy.”

Although neither is a candidate in this election, the two Tories said they will take their message on the road and urged business leaders to work with them to convince voters to re-elect the Harper government and reject the “dangerous policies” of the NDP.

The letter also takes aim at Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s plan to cancel LNG tax incentives.

But it mainly targets the provincial NDP’s record governing in the 1990s, saying it directly led to B.C. becoming a “have-not” province with 50,000 residents forced to leave to find work elsewhere.

“Now is not the time for risky experiments.”

It echoes the B.C. Liberals’ economy-first attacks against “risky” Adrian Dix that helped persuade voters to reject the NDP in the 2013 provincial election, despite an early polling lead for the New Democrats.

Philip Hochstein, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., said he hopes the message resonates with voters.

“I think the federal Conservatives are right to remind British Columbians about the lost decade of an NDP government,” he said, adding business leaders could be influential.

“We have a history under the NDP, we know what it was like,” Hochstein said. “There was, in essence, a strike on capital – people stopped investing in British Columbia.”

He said the latest polls showing the Conservatives are running third place in a tight three-way race do not concern him.

“The election will be won or lost on the economy and people will make the right decision.”

SFU political science instructor Cara Camcastle said the tactic of dredging up the NDP’s record in Victoria may prove less effective this time because federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair has promised balanced budgets and, unlike Dix, has carefully avoided taking a premature stand against proposed pipelines.

“The Conservatives are trying to put fear into those who are considering change,” she said. “But after 10 years in power, there will be some Conservative supporters who feel they’ve had their chance.”

Canadian Taxpayers Federation spokesman Jordan Bateman said he’s not surprised by the letter.

“In politics, you always go back to what’s worked,” Bateman said, but added the strategy is getting long in the tooth.

“The NDP did some outrageous things in the 90s. But I’m not sure how that’s a complete predictor of future behaviour. It’s almost 20 years ago now.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read