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A Brief Response to the BC Budget

Today in the legislature I rose briefly to respond to the BC Liberal’s pre-election budget. I had originally been scheduled to rise earlier in the week but the cold that I had (which caused me to lose my voice) precluded me from speaking for 30 minutes then. Unfortunately, according to the standing orders, a vote on the budget had to be called this morning. And seeing as some of the speakers took a little longer than we expected, time ran out before a number of us could rise to speak.

Nevertheless I had a little over one minute to outline why I was not supporting the budget. A more thorough response will be given when I speak at second reading of the Budget Implementation Act, the Act that implements the measures contained in this year’s budget.

As one might expect, the budget vote passed 44-31 with the BC NDP and I voting against it.

Below I reproduce the text and video of my response.

Text of My Response

I do recognize that according to standing orders, I have very little time. I just rise quickly to state that obviously, I do not support this budget. This budget is filled with political calculations in an election year.

For example, the MSP premium, which is highlighted in this budget, has a big cut. It’s something you still have to apply for. It’s something that won’t be in effect until 2018. It doesn’t actually eliminate MSP. It still retains the burdensome administrative overhead. There are many, many other examples here.

It’s a budget without a vision. It’s a budget from a government that’s lost touch with the people. It’s a budget from a government that didn’t recognize that its windfall came from an out-of-control real estate sector in Vancouver. Instead of using that money to help those who have been affected by it, through affordable housing, it’s putting it to boutique tax credits for their friends and relatives.

With that, I’ll say that this budget is not something I can support. I look forward to standing with my colleagues on this side of the House and voting against it very shortly.

Video of my Response

One Comment

  1. Philip Walkinshaw-
    March 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Well said Andrew! To create even more red tape and costs by making people apply for discount (maybe liberals think many people will forget to apply) is not only ridiculous but also costly. When it comes to the PST windfall on people purchasing a home to live in was just dumb luck on part of the liberal government and nothing to do about planning. Also, you forgot to mention the GST paid to federal government on new builds and why BC should get a big chunk of that money returned to BC for transit etc!