EDITORIAL: This is not the time for a provincial election

It’s been a difficult week in B.C., even by 2020 standards. The rest of the week isn’t looking much better: it seems that it’s not a question of if Premier John Horgan will seek to dissolve the legislature and force a fall election, but rather when he will announce it.

With a comfortable lead in opinion polls, Horgan is licking his chops for a majority. But a snap election would be a terrible mistake.

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Right now, people in B.C. are worried about their kids in school and what they may be bringing home with them. They’re worried about their elderly relatives. They’re worried about the stability of their jobs. They’re isolated from friends. Putting the government into caretaker mode for six weeks will not help any of these problems. In fact, they’ll probably get worse.

If Horgan thinks people have it in them to be parsing political platforms, taking in all-candidates meetings via Zoom, and greeting door-knocking campaigners, he is grossly mistaken.

This is to say nothing of the logistical problem of safely running an election during the second wave of a pandemic.

Whether people are incensed enough to punish him at the polls is another matter. He may get the majority he so desires. He may gamble and lose. We might go through the expensive, stressful and wholly unnecessary process and wind up right back where we are today.

If the NDP no longer holds the confidence of the house, it’s in hands of the Opposition to bring this minority government to a natural death. And unless that’s the case, this is not the time for an election.

This is not a political position. It’s a humanitarian one.

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