Alex Shiff: With B.C. grappling with a worsening pandemic, an early election would be dangerous

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Indeed, many British Columbians still seem to believe that the province has continued to fare well in our pandemic response compared with other Canadian jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, that is no longer accurate, with British Columbia now having the second highest active case count per capita of any province in Canada, behind only Alberta.

Most British Columbians are shocked to hear this, and many still believe that our neighbouring provinces are in a much worse position than we are. This cognitive dissonance combined with low levels of mask use and erosion of social distancing, as evidenced by increases in large gatherings of young people, is a recipe for a public health disaster in the winter and fall.

Sadly, due to low levels of local news consumption, most British Columbians are unaware of the recent dangerous trajectory British Columbia is on. The narrative of B.C. exceptionalism in the fight against COVID was established early on in the pandemic, and a deeply set narrative ingrained in the minds of voters is very challenging to break.

Recent mailers from B.C. NDP MLAs to their constituents feature Bonnie Henry prominently and seem to show the extent to which the government wants voters to judge them politically based on their management of the pandemic.

In order to achieve electoral success, the B.C. NDP will have to perpetuate the narrative among voters that British Columbia has navigated the pandemic better than our provincial neighbours, and only time will tell how that story ends.

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