Christy Clark has turned her back on mid­dle-class fam­i­lies

Asian Journal - - Nation -

Vic­to­ria: I work for you, the peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia. Ev­ery sin­gle day I think about the fam­i­lies, the young peo­ple, the se­niors and the busi­ness­peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia. Your fu­ture and your wel­fare is my first pri­or­ity. As the leader of your Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion, it’s my job to stand up for the peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia when this gov­ern­ment’s empty prom­ises come to light. Over the past four months at the leg­is­la­ture in Vic­to­ria, it’s clear that Pre­mier Christy Clark has forgotten that she works for you. When­ever she’s faced with a choice, she picks wealthy spe­cial in­ter­ests and Lib­eral in­sid­ers over the hard-work­ing fam­i­lies of B.C. Christy Clark has turned her back on mid­dle class and strug­gling fam­i­lies. Here are a few ex­am­ples. Pre­mier Clark’s bud­get im­posed a whole bunch of stealth tax in­creases on fam­i­lies – MSP and ICBC pre­mi­ums went up, and BC Hy­dro rates also went up. Bridge tolls and ferry fares went up. Even camp­ing and beer got more ex­pen­sive. The pre­mier could have tried to con­tain some of th­ese costs, but in­stead she spent $236 mil­lion to cut taxes for only the rich­est two per cent of the pop­u­la­tion. The pre­mier also re­fused to re­peal a ter­ri­ble pol­icy that claws back ev­ery penny of ma­ter­nity leave benefits from fam­i­lies with a dis­abled par­ent. This pol­icy ef­fec­tively drives chil­dren into poverty. Your Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion also un­cov­ered a Lib­eral give­away of public land. While peo­ple strug­gle to get into hous­ing, Cit­i­zen Ser­vices Min­is­ter Am­rik Virk signed off on a deal that sold prime devel­op­ment real es­tate in Co­quit­lam to a Lib­eral in­sider for $43 mil­lion less than it is worth. One 16acre piece of land, worth $5.6 mil­lion, was sold for only $100,000. I can think of an aw­ful lot of mid­dle-class fam­i­lies in B.C. who would jump at that price, but they weren’t in­vited to the Lib­eral fire­sale. Am­rik Virk is the same per­son who was vice-chair of the Kwantlen Uni­ver­sity board that dined on steak, lob­ster and scotch at the public’s ex­pense. They were forced to pay all the money back af­ter your Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion un­cov­ered this, but Virk is still a min­is­ter in Clark’s cabi­net. The Lib­eral waste goes on. Ev­ery time you open your BC Hy­dro bill, re­mem­ber that the Lib­er­als have wasted more than $600 mil­lion of your money on failed com­puter projects and de­fec­tive trans­mis­sion line tow­ers. They squan­dered so much of your money that Christy Clark’s min­is­ter of en­ergy was forced to is­sue an un­prece­dented apol­ogy to the public. None of those projects are fin­ished yet. Pre­mier Clark promised you that LNG cor­po­ra­tions would pay a fair price for the pub­li­cally owned nat­u­ral re­sources they use, in or­der to fund schools, hos­pi­tals, and the ser­vices we all de­pend on. As CKNW’s Jon McComb re­cently asked, “are we be­ing played for suck­ers here?” But when it comes to LNG, Pre­mier Clark’s real be­trayal of the mid­dle class is on jobs. It seems that Christy Clark just wants to cut a rib­bon. I think most peo­ple agree that what we need in­stead is a long-term strat­egy for high-wage sus­tain­able jobs. We can do so much bet­ter. But first we need a gov­ern­ment that re­mem­bers that ev­ery dollar of its bud­get is your hard-earned money. We need a pre­mier whose first pri­or­ity is the wel­fare and the fu­ture of Bri­tish Columbia’s mid­dle class, not the wealthy and pow­er­ful.

John Hor­gan Leader, B.C. New

Democrats

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