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NDP, Liberals spar over fate of MSP premiums

Kamloops-South Thompson B.C. Liberal candidate Todd Stone said a suggestion by the NDP that the Liberals would reintroduce MSP premiums if elected is false.
Todd Stone
Kamloops-South Thompson B.C. Liberal candidate Todd Stone.

Amidst a pandemic, the B.C. Liberals and B.C. New Democrats are battling it out on the campaign trail over health care.

Kamloops South-Thompson B.C. Liberal candidate Todd Stone said premier John Horgan and his team are “making stuff up” and “trying to create controversy where it doesn’t exist.”

Stone said a suggestion by the NDP that the Liberals would reintroduce MSP premiums if elected is false.

“John Horgan is out there today saying we have secret plans to cut health care and education,” Stone said.

“Again, that is an absolute lie. We are committed to maintaining health and education spending as key priorities moving forward. John Horgan can continue [with] negative ads, as he has been, make up stuff on the fly. We’re going to focus on serious, real actions intended to help British Columbians focus on getting through the pandemic.”

Earlier in the election campaign, the NDP sent out a press release, suggesting the Liberals will reinstate MSP premiums if they win the Oct. 24 election.

On Sept. 26, Horgan also Tweeted: “As long as I am Premier, MSP fees will never come back. The BC Liberals doubled MSP premiums, making families pay huge bills just to get basic care. We got rid of it and saved families up to $1,800 every year.”

The NDP provincial government eliminated MSP premiums on Jan. 1, 2020, and implemented an employer health tax, which shifted provincial health insurance costs from residents to businesses.