The fall session of the Legislature came to an end this week. By the time you read this report, I will be back in the constituency, spending time in each of the communities I represent.
The House has been in session since August, one of the longest sittings that I have participated in since I was elected in 2005. Much of our time in the Legislature was focused on scrutinizing the budget, a budget that the BC Liberals promised prior to the election would result in a $495 million deficit. In fact, the real deficit was $3.5 billion.
Not only is the government running a massive deficit, they are cutting critical programs to our most vulnerable citizens. Children and seniors will suffer the most under this budget, and this is something that most people in this area would say is unacceptable.
Children’s services like the Infant Development and the Supported Child Development programs are sustaining cuts that will seriously affect service provider’s ability to support young children with special needs.
Services for seniors like the Adult Day program are being reduced, and fees for existing services like residential care will cost seniors more.
These decisions prove that this government does not have the same priorities that we do. We take care of each other, and that means making sure that children get the supports they need and seniors are able to live with dignity.
If you or someone you care about is being hurt by government service cuts, it is important that you share your story with me. You can call me toll-free at 1-866-870-4188 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I need to hear what matters to you.
Norm Macdonald is the NDP MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke