The Spring Session of the BC Legislature ended last week, and on the final day we completed the process of estimates that stretched over most of the four-month session. Estimates debate is where each minister is questioned on the budget for their individual ministry.
I voted against this BC Liberal budget because I know that people in this area understand that a budget is about choices. In the communities that I represent we believe our priority should be to look after our children and our seniors. We believe that we need to look after our land and water. And that these choices should come well before providing tax breaks to BC’s wealthiest 2%.
The choices made in this budget do not reflect the values of the people of Columbia River Revelstoke. Therefore, it is my responsibility to vote against it.
So, not only did this budget continue with tax breaks for the wealthy, it increased funding for private schools while underfunding public schools.
This budget created shortfalls for seniors’ care. Is there anyone in this region who would defend tax cuts for the wealthy over adequate funding for seniors?
This budget has no significant funding for the four-laning of the Trans-Canada Highway. We will see increases in BC Hydro rates, Medical Services Plan payments and ICBC rates. And the BC Liberals continue to underfund proper protection of public lands.
The government’s rhetoric around the budget is intentionally misleading. For example, talking about BC being debt free while the government is actually increasing debt at record levels. The provincial debt was $36 billion when the BC Liberals took power in 2001, and now with contractual obligations is up to $168 billion.
Ask anyone in this area what their budget priorities are. Would they say more money for rich people? Would they say underfunded classrooms? Would they say skyrocketing debt? No.
The only people who I know that are willing to defend this BC Liberal budget are BC Liberals themselves. This is why I did not support this budget. I voted against this budget because the people of this province deserve better.
Norm Macdonald MLA Columbia River Revelstoke | 1-866-870-4188 | firstname.lastname@example.org