Governing a province is, without question, a challenging task. And balancing revenue against expenses, especially in tough economic times, is particularly difficult. These are the choices that a government has to make.
I know that British Columbians understand that, and they expect their government to be prudent.
We all know that once again the province will be putting forward a deficit budget, adding even further to the Province’s debt. And taxpayers are being asked to do without many programs in order, the government claims, to bring spending under control.
But there is one budget item that isn’t being cut; the advertising budget for Christy Clark’s BC Jobs Plan.
$15 million is being spent on government ads that brag about job creation and economic development in the province. These ads make claims of job numbers that have already been disproven, but the ads continue to run.
So not only is this money being spent frivolously, it is being spent to deliberately misinform the public. I think we can all agree that this is unacceptable.
What if that $15 million was put towards services that actually made life better for British Columbians?
$15 million could provide training for up to 1,000 new miners instead of bringing in temporary foreign workers for new mines.
$15 million could provide home care services for approximately 1,500 seniors for a year.
$15 million could provide BC schools with about 250 additional special education teachers.
$15 million could see a third more seedlings planted on Crown lands, making an important contribution to forest health.
But instead, this government chose a tax payer-funded propaganda campaign.
British Columbians deserve better. They deserve a government that will be honest about the state of the province. And they deserve a government that puts the needs of citizens first.
MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke Norm Macdonald is also the Deputy Chairman of the Special Committee on Timber Supply and Opposition Critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations . He can be reached at 250-344-4816 | 1-866-870-4188 |104, 806 9th Street N | Box 2052 Golden BC V0A 1H0 | www.NormMacdonald.ca