John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats

Vancouver: British Columbia’s NDP leader has unveiled portions of an election platform he hopes will move his party from the Opposition benches to power after 16 years of waiting.

John Horgan has issued a video and news release saying if the New Democrats unseat the Liberals, his party would eliminate tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges and freeze BC Hydro rates.

The promise comes barely a week after electricity rates jumped nine per cent, and BC Hydro said in November that rates would climb another 16.5 per cent over the next four years.

Horgan says B.C. residents have no choice but to pay the increases in order to power and heat their homes.

He says freezing the rates and removing bridge tolls will make life more affordable for British Columbians.

Horgan has also pledged to improve services including health care and education, build infrastructure such as hospitals, roads and transit while tackling climate change and creating jobs.

A provincial election is scheduled for May 9.

Premier Christy Clark is set to offer her party’s platform on Tuesday in Vancouver before visiting the lieutenant-governor to ask her to dissolve parliament, clearing the way for the campaign.

The Canadian Press