Today, the 4th session of the 40th parliament of the Province of British Columbia was opened with a Speech from the Throne. The Speech from the Throne is government’s opportunity to lay out its vision and plan for the coming year. However, today’s throne speech reveals a government short of ideas and content to coast while British Columbians continue to struggle with issues we can begin solving today.
Despite mounting challenges facing families in British Columbia, the Throne Speech advanced no new ideas about how to grow the economy or help those who are most in need.
I have spent much of the last year identifying problems and bringing forward potential solutions for government’s consideration. If they are running short on ideas, then they should feel free to borrow some of mine. Whether it’s rolling MSP premiums into our progressive tax system, developing a poverty reduction plan and a housing first strategy, or leveraging our renewable resources to attract new economic opportunities, there are plenty of things this government could and should be doing right now to actively strengthen and diversify our province.
Without fail, whenever an idea surfaces about how our government could address a pressing social or environmental issue, they trot out rhetoric about how the best way to address it is to grow our economy. The government has been saying for years that the economy is growing. Yet we are still waiting for them to start offering solutions to the crises in funding for education, health care and social services.
Within the next week, I will speak to the Legislature, offering my response to the government’s Throne Speech. In doing so, I will offer a clear plan for how British Columbia can develop a 21st century economy – one that prioritizes and benefits the needs of British Columbians.