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Speaking at NDP convention, Eby says public needs to see 'concrete results' of party's policies

Victoria -

For David Eby’s first convention as premier – held one year to the day after his swearing-in – more than 700 party members gave him a warm welcome as he delivered the keynote address.

Eby concluded Saturday’s address by exhorting the crowd, “That is the better, brighter future that we can build, and we will — let’s do it together!”

It’s the first BC NDP convention held in person since 2019. Delegates from across the province gathered at the Victoria Conference Centre to debate and vote on issues ranging from health-care to climate change, hoping to shape party policy going forward.

There was also a celebratory atmosphere on Saturday, the party revelling in its commanding lead in the polls — and in raising more money than their opponents — with an election looming 11 months away.

“They are winning the fundraising race with BC United – they doubled them in the last quarter,” said David Black, a political scientist at Royal Roads University.

There were lighter moments during the convention on Saturday, including when Eby’s wife, Cailey Lynch, joked while announcing they are expecting their third child in June.

“The baby was planned and this is not why contraception is free in B.C. now,” she said to laughter from the crowd, which applauded the news.

There were also more serious moments, including in a media scrum, when Eby criticized Ottawa for granting carbon tax breaks on home heating oil, and was adamant that British Columbians will continue to face the taxes.

“I make no secret about the fact that the federal government was incredibly ham-handed in their carbon tax decisions. I think they've done a profoundly poor job of it,” said Eby.

Eby cited recent housing legislation as his greatest source of pride. He said public safety, and federal delays passing bail reform, were his biggest frustrations during his first year as premier.

“The fact that it is still not in place is wildly frustrating,” said Eby.

With just under a year before the next election, and one year under his belt as premier, there's no shortage of pressing issues — including affordability and the housing crisis.

“The challenge for us is going to be showing concrete results that people can see, that give them hope for where we're going to end up,” said Eby.

Next October, voters will decide if they have that hope — and whether the enthusiasm of NDP faithful on display Saturday was warranted. Top Stories


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