John Cummins: B.C. Conservatives believe in fair taxation, balanced budgets, and good highways
British Columbia is truly blessed. We have bountiful natural resources and our province enjoys a geographic position in Canada and the world that is the envy of many.
B.C. workers are skilled and dedicated. Our business people are innovative and far-thinking. B.C. students repeatedly achieve among the highest scores in international competitions.
All have found a way to compete—and to succeed—in a challenging world.
Yet, there is unmistakable evidence that British Columbia has slipped badly in a number of objective, economic rankings over the last two decades. Successive provincial governments—both NDP and B.C. Liberal—have overseen a significant decline in B.C.’s economy.
In 1971, for example, British Columbia had the highest average weekly wages in Canada. By 2001, we had fallen to third, and in recent years we’ve collapsed all the way to fifth. Today, B.C.’s average weekly wage trails Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland, and Saskatchewan.
Similarly, our real gross domestic product per capita also has fallen to fifth place in the country. How is it possible that British Columbia’s economy now produces almost $2,000 less per resident, per year, than the Canadian average?
What do all of these numbers mean? They mean that British Columbia isn’t as attractive to newcomers as once it was.
We used to be a population magnet. For much of the 20th century, British Columbia continually drew new residents from across Canada.
Workers who wanted to find high-wage jobs, men and women who wanted to raise their families here, and Canadians who simply wanted to realize their dreams—all of them were drawn to B.C.
Unfortunately, interprovincial migration statistics turned negative at the end of the 1990s, and then after briefly becoming positive, fell back into negative territory again over the last 18 months.
It seems unbelievable, but more people now are leaving B.C. each month to find jobs in other provinces, than are coming here from elsewhere in Canada.
So, what can be done? The B.C. Conservatives believe in B.C. We believe in our people—and want to ensure they have the education and skills training to find high-wage jobs.
We believe in fair taxation. An example of unfair taxation is the carbon tax, which hurts B.C. farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers.
The carbon tax also discriminates against British Columbians living in the rural and northern parts of our province, who do not have the public-transit choices available to those living in of our major urban centres.
We believe in balanced budgets and want MLAs to understand that public expenditures must be kept in-line with revenues. To that end the B.C. Conservatives have developed a three–point plan—called Spending Smarter—that will ensure greater legislative oversight over government spending.
We believe in transportation. Good highways are essential to B.C.’s economic growth. We need to create better access to our natural resources, especially in rural and northern parts of the province.
The bottom line is this: the B.C. Conservatives believe in British Columbia. We believe in our people, their willingness to be daring and innovative, our natural resources, and our geographic advantages. We believe in our potential; we believe in the future.
British Columbia is incredibly rich in people and resources. We have the geographic location. All we need to do, to secure a better future, is to believe in ourselves. We believe in B.C.
Mar 28, 2013 at 6:45pm
You know what really hurts B.C. farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers? Conservatives hellbent on destroying the environment for temporary financial gains.
Mar 28, 2013 at 8:08pm
Being close minded also hurts. Yes, I am a conservative but I am also an environmentalist. Many people mistakenly believe free enterprise means sacrificing the environment. Well that is just not true. At least I hope it is not true otherwise the logical conclusion is that the NDP and Green party will leave us with a great environment but no economy, leaving us susceptible to foreign pillaging of our resources.
No, a balance has to be achieved. Several of the BC Conservatives are strong environmentalists like Dwayne Nichols and Ian Tootil. Some are greenpeace members and regularly march for these rights. My friends and I are all voting conservative. The NDP will destroy our economy and when it comes down to picking between unions and environment, they tend to side with unions.
I would argue that no one wants to destroy the environment. To do so is counter intuitive to everything a conservative values (example - conserving!).
Don't believe me though. Do your homework by looking at their actual policy document and read what the press is writing.
Mar 28, 2013 at 8:30pm
“We believe in fair taxation. An example of unfair taxation is the carbon tax, which hurts B.C. farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers.”
Who use more fossil fuels than the rest of us and are responsible for greater releases of carbon into the atmosphere. How is taxing them more than those of us who use less anything but fair? The same is true of rural and northern dwellers. It's not “discrimination”; it's fair taxation, far more so than anything Cummins and his ilk have proposed.
Mar 29, 2013 at 12:15pm
"BC Cons believe in fair taxation, balanced budgets, & good highways"
And deliver income inequality, more poverty, debt & potholes.
Every single conservative party since the Mulroney days has delivered unbalanced budgets, massive deficits, and a more uncivil, mean-spirited society.
No conservative will ever get my vote.
Mar 29, 2013 at 2:50pm
Hmmm. Harper is a Conservative. Why would I vote for a Conservative to give Harper gloating rights? You might be right for the job but you are in the wrong party.
Mar 29, 2013 at 6:58pm
Re your idea of regares to regular commuters on ferries and tole bridgers Glad to hear some thought being giver to relieving this burdon. More on Ferries, it is amasing to me that a five story building cannot hold all the administrative staff for ferries. Given that all the vessels operate in BC andthere traffic is all roll/roll.
Apr 2, 2013 at 3:19pm
I will vote conservative. The NDP and Liberals are both crooks with very questionable,sordid history. While I am not that fond of John Cummins I would have liked a younger hipper candidate. John Cummins has at least not committed any crimes that I am aware of. He is simply the best of the bunch. And I am conservative all the way.
Apr 7, 2013 at 2:07pm
These Conservatives just like Harper will destroy our planet, our economy and ensure the rich get richer. All sounds so good..lots of jobs, endless resources, lots of money...and all for free! At what cost I ask? When we have polluted water and farms, poisioning our children and generations to come, and the oil and gas is all gone? We'll be known as the generation that didn't give a s***!