Spring Legislative Session – Costs Up, Jobs Down, Promises Broken

The B.C. Liberal government rises from the spring legislative session today after driving up families’ costs, shedding more B.C. jobs and breaking key election promises.

“While too many British Columbians are struggling to find family-supporting jobs, the B.C. Liberals choose to pile on new costs,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan.

Statistics Canada data shows B.C. had the worst jobs record in Canada this past year, suffering a net loss of 4,400 jobs.

Instead of helping the now nearly 150,000 unemployed British Columbians, the B.C. Liberals opened the session by imposing new increases to MSP fees, ferry fares and hydro rates. Since the B.C. Liberals were first elected, they have increased average MSP fees 92 per cent, ferry fares 63–­88 per cent and hydro rates 64 per cent. The government also refused to end the punitive clawback of child support payments for single parents on disability and other income supports, reinforcing B.C.’s country-worst child poverty rate.

“The B.C. Liberals not only ignore the needs of B.C. families, they ignore their own slogans,” added Horgan. “They broke their promise to protect our food supply and broke their promise to bring stability to B.C.’s schools.”

After promising to protect agricultural land during the 2013 election, the government is set to ram through a law without public consultation by the end of Thursday, stripping protection from 90 per cent of BC’s farmland.

And after promising to bring labour peace with B.C. teachers, the premier escalated tensions during bargaining by publicly accusing teachers of making negotiations “all about money… never about quality of education,” despite leading a government that took away the right for teachers to negotiate class size and composition to improve quality.

“British Columbians deserve a government that listens and makes their lives easier, not harder,” said Horgan. “It’s clear the B.C. Liberals aren’t interested in being that government, so I plan on spending the summer talking to British Columbians about how New Democrats can make their lives better.”