The New Democrats agree with the newly formed Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance that the B.C. Liberal government should act on their election promise to share Northern resources with Northern communities.
“New Democrats support local communities getting a good return for resources extracted in B.C.,” said New Democrat spokesperson for Northern economic development Robin Austin. “So far the Liberal election promise to negotiate a deal with Northern communities is unfulfilled. It’s time to see action and follow-through from the Liberal government."
The New Democrats are calling on the B.C. Liberal government to commit to putting the $178 million “saved” during the school shut down back into the public education system.
“The B.C. Liberals’ failure to get a deal with teachers escalated into an unprecedented disruption and Premier Clark should not treat that money as a windfall,” said New Democrat education critic Rob Fleming.
“Those are parents’ tax dollars and should go back into helping children in classrooms.”
The B.C. Liberal government is more interested in flashy photo-ops than concrete and effective action to address the skills gap for B.C. workers, says New Democrat skills training spokesperson Shane Simpson.
“The time for inflated jobs claims is past. It's time for the B.C. Liberals to get signed specific B.C.-first job and apprenticeship commitments from LNG proponents, along with proponent contributions to training to make good on them,” said Simpson.
The two New Democrat teams created by leader John Horgan to speak up for B.C.’s neglected economic sectors and communities elected their leadership Friday.
“Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberals are all about themselves — massive salary increases and under-the-table payments while our schools and hospitals languish,” said Horgan. “My teams are going to bring the people of B.C. back into the equation.”
New Democrat finance spokesperson Carole James was elected Chair of the Economic Sectors team and Deputy Finance, while ICBC spokesperson Mable Elmore was elected Vice-Chair.
Investing in midwives is the right thing to do, and the B.C. Liberals should stop standing in the way of the expansion of these services, say the New Democrats.
“Midwives are tremendous assets to our health care system. They provide expert care during normal pregnancies and births, and take pressure off our overloaded health care system by reducing the cost of this care,” said New Democrat spokesperson for health Judy Darcy. “It’s a wise economic decision.”
The B.C. Liberal government’s divisive and tone-deaf approach to relations with the Gitxsan is hurting opportunities for people and businesses who depend on certainty over the Northwest’s land base.
“Rather than addressing Gitxsan concerns respectfully, the B.C. Liberals have taken a divisive approach that is destroying trust and creating more uncertainty in the Northwest,” said New Democrat MLA for Stikine Doug Donaldson. “Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Northwesterners deserve opportunities to make a living and grow their businesses, not chaos and division.”
A new subsidy for B.C.’s pulp mills is an admission that the B.C. Liberals’ mismanagement of BC Hydro is risking jobs and hammering the province’s resource-based industrial employers, say the New Democrats.
New Democrat spokesperson responsible for BC Hydro, Adrian Dix, says the $100 million the Liberals have earmarked for this program does nothing to help small business or residential customers who are also being hurt by the 28-per-cent hikes on their Hydro rates.
New Democrats are calling on the B.C. Liberal government to protect the health of our oceans, lakes and rivers by banning the sale of products containing plastic microbeads.
"British Columbians I talk to are surprised to learn that they may be unknowlingly polluting our lakes, rivers, and ocean by buying and using skin creams, toothpaste, and more that contain tiny plastic microbeads which then wash down the drain and into our water," said Chandra Herbert.