John Horgan: B.C. Liberals put themselves first, families last

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      If you were given 200 days to make life better for B.C. families, what would you do first?

      Maybe you would start by looking at ways to reduce child poverty in this province. Or maybe you would start to address the growing affordability challenges faced by families.

      Regardless of your first priorities, chances are you would show up to work, roll up your sleeves, and get started.

      That’s not how the B.C. Liberals see it. This year, Family Day marks 200 days since the B.C. legislature last met. That’s 200 days since the B.C. Liberal government showed up to work to address the challenges faced by B.C.’s families.

      And in those 200 days, those challenges have only grown. Since the legislature last met, the Liberals have continued to mismanage key files and make life less affordable. Today, we are paying more, and getting less.

      Unfortunately, the B.C. Liberals would rather play political games than sit down at the table and get to work.

      The first thing the premier did after the election was sign a document that gave huge raises to their own political staffers.

      The next thing they did was give plum appointments to failed Liberal candidates.

      Then, they cancelled the fall sitting of the legislature, proving that they are willing to delay action on serious issues facing B.C. families when they feel it could help them politically.

      Today, they are busy trying to explain a court ruling that showed they tried to provoke a strike and shut down B.C. schools—all because they thought they could get some political mileage from the chaos it would create for families across the province.

      Since the May election, the B.C. Liberals have made their priorities clear: their political interest comes first, and B.C. families come last.

      In those same 200 days since the legislature last got to work, life has become less affordable, while services that families depend on have declined.

      Medical Services Plan premiums climbed while the Liberal government cut planned spending to health authorities, ignoring our overcrowded hospitals. Ferry fares have been increased, and will jump again in April, while the Liberal government announced cuts to ferry services up and down the coast.

      And in the fall, just before the legislature should have returned to work, the Liberals announced a hike to hydro rates that will add $300 to the average family’s annual costs—all while allowing the hidden debt at B.C. Hydro to climb.

      Meanwhile, the Liberal government has failed to manage our province’s economy, and we are seeing the effects. In the last 200 days, the province’s debt has increased by $2.5 billion—rising faster than under any other premier in B.C.’s history—and we are ninth in the country in private sector job growth. In fact B.C. has lost more than 21,000 full time jobs in the last 200 days.

      In other parts of the country, legislatures have been hard at work.

      Last year, while B.C.’s legislature sat for just 36 days, every other province’s legislature sat longer—Alberta’s sat for 49 days, Manitoba’s sat for 103 days, Ontario’s 100 days, and Quebec’s sat for 84 days.

      Even PEI’s legislature sat for four more days than the B.C. legislature, which represents more than 30 times more people.

      The New Democrats are anxious to get back to work, and when we do we’ll be fighting for a province where people come first, not politics.

      John Horgan is the B.C. New Democrat house leader.

      Comments

      16 Comments

      SPY vs SPY

      Feb 7, 2014 at 4:06pm

      The BC Liberal Government is following the USA - Republican Party Doctrine - which is that Citizens should just forget that there is actually a thing called Government.

      They want BC Citizens to come to the realization, that you should expect absolutely nothing from your government.

      There was a time when Governments believed that they should address the issues of the day and take action.

      Right wing political consultants (Steven Harper used to spend weeks at time at USA Republican Think Tank Training Sessions) have convinced many Conservative Canadian Politicians that they can survive and prosper by doing less and spending more money on Media Marketing and Public Relations Campaigns.

      The basic BC Liberal Government Principal of Governance is the YOYO PROGRAM!!!!

      You Are
      On
      Your
      Own

      Chris Arnold

      Feb 7, 2014 at 4:43pm

      I've always believed that when Christy Clark established Family Day here in BC, it was just nothing but a feel good PR gimmick for the BC Liberals & that's what it is.

      Mark

      Feb 7, 2014 at 5:06pm

      - Foreign ownership has increased costs significantly for middle class and young adults. Vision refuses to even talk about restrictions, and don't forget, Vision is highly affiliated with the NDP.

      - The carbon tax only increases the price of gas, and almost all middle class families need cars to get around. They don;t get the low income tax credit because they often do not earn such a lot income.

      - ICBC, BC Hydro, BC Ferries and Translink are highly bloated crown corporations. A lot of those costs are associated with unionized labor, which the NDP fully supports. You have to ask yourself why a unionized paper pusher should get paid $20 per hour.

      - The high cost of living in BC prevents entrepreneurs and professionals from moving here and from creating jobs here. A lot of companies moved to Alberta or Ontario where it is cheaper to have their headquarters.

      All these problems require changes that neither the Feds, or the BC Liberals or BC NDP wants to make. The cost of living here will only go up, and wages will keep stagnating, as they have for the past 5 years. We need a new slate of leadership needed to make those tough decisions.

      D-Link

      Feb 7, 2014 at 6:55pm

      Enough talk about families, what about single people? We need another statutory holiday called 'Singles Day' to recognize & celebrate the large population of single people in the lower mainland!

      SPY vs SPY

      Feb 7, 2014 at 7:01pm

      Let's bring down the cost of living in BC and Canada.

      100% taxes of capitol gains from speculating in Real Estate.

      !00% ban on Non Residents from owning land in Canada.

      No Taxes of any kind on Used Cars and on Car repairs. People earning less than $40,000 / year - usually buy a used car or truck and then the Governments Screws them by taxing used vehicle purchases by 12% and all repairs 12%.

      Think about it - wealthy folks lease and then sell before the vehicle needs repairs!

      The Minimum Wage in BC should be set at $15.00 / hour immediately and raised by $1.00 / hour every year until it reaches $20.00.

      On simple way to define an economy, is money changing hands. Corporate Profits do not drive the economy - PDI does - PERSONAL DISPOSABLE INCOME

      I can hear the voices already - Commie - Socialist - Pinko

      It has been said the a wage of $18.00 in the Lower Mainland is the poverty level. God forbid a family earning $40,000.00 / year have enough left over for a savings plan.

      Raising

      Bean Burrito

      Feb 8, 2014 at 9:53am

      Take home message: Spy vs Spy earns less than $40,000/year and is having car troubles.

      Mika

      Feb 8, 2014 at 2:09pm

      Nothing is going to change in Vancouver/Metro Vancouver. Land prices are high because of speculation of condos being built. Then when Condos are built, there's yet more speculation and "flipping" going on. Whenever there is an open house, ask the people what they plan to do with it. Almost none of them plan to live in them.

      To say nothing of the cheap LEED-silver radiant-heating all-glass cheap leaky-condos-in-waiting people are being sold. Give me a break. If the unit does not have central HVAC, it's going to leak. Individual condo owners don't know how to take care of their units, so they become all moldy when they don't run the fans 25% of the time, wasting heat.

      Likewise, all these condos are being sold as market housing, not rentals, and not low-income housing. Nobody making less than 70,000 a year can actually afford to live in Vancouver, yet somehow banks are giving loans to people. You want to see the end of unsustainable skyrocketing home prices? Start by making the loan requirements be no more than 25% of their income. I assure you almost nobody will get a loan and the prices will then come crashing down. This won't happen obviously.

      Outside of Vancouver, the story is different. Outside of Vancouver the cost of living is much lower, and property prices are much lower. This is owing more to the fact that outside of the lower mainland, the transit systems are pathetic and you need a car for everything.

      SPY vs SPY

      Feb 8, 2014 at 7:11pm

      Hey Bean

      FUNNY - YAH FUNNY

      However not so funny for all the folks - Seniors or Disabled - who earn less than $40,000.00 and cannot get a $1,000.00 repair done without paying $120.00 in Taxes - just to get their vehicle to run.

      Yah - NOT FUNNY AT ALL

      Concerned British Columbian

      Feb 9, 2014 at 9:54am

      I thought the people of this Province voted for this in the last election....sorry I meant people of this Province where fooled into voting for the Liberals. You get what you vote for.

      Raifon

      Feb 9, 2014 at 1:33pm

      With all these foul ups affecting almost every working BCer how many more of these provacations will we have to endure before we realize that a disjointed NDP government would still be better for everyone but Christys business buddies.