For 16 years B.C. had a B.C. Liberal government that was working for the wealthy and the well-connected, making it harder for ordinary people to get ahead.
The B.C. Liberals left us with big problems to solve, but I can’t wait to get started building a better B.C. for everyone.
New Democrats campaigned on making life more affordable, delivering the services people count on, and building a sustainable economy that benefits everyone. These three priorities are linked together. When we take care of each other and invest in our communities, we take care of our economy.
We’re going to help businesses grow and families prosper by moving on all three priorities.
It all starts with affordability. Affordability is a key concern for everyone. If workers can’t afford to live in our cities, businesses can’t afford to grow.
The B.C. Liberals slammed families with increasing taxes and fees like rising medical services premiums, ballooning B.C. Hydro costs, and skyrocketing ICBC rates, while at the same time giving the richest 2 per cent of British Columbians a billion dollar tax break.
As if shifting taxes from the rich to the middle class wasn’t enough, the B.C. Liberals also prioritized helping their speculator friends get rich over keeping housing affordable for ordinary people, leaving too many people unable to find a place to rent and unable to afford to buy.
When the B.C. Liberals let our housing market get out of control it didn’t just hurt families, it hurt businesses. I’ve heard from countless business owners who told me that the lack of affordable housing was making it difficult to attract skilled workers to our cities.
Business owners also told me about the need to get people and goods moving with real investments in transit and transportation.
Right now traffic congestion costs our economy a billion dollars a year in lost productivity and environmental costs. Traffic hurts businesses, by making it harder to move their goods, and it hurts families, by forcing them to sit gridlock instead of spending time at home with those they love.
The B.C. Liberals didn’t just fail to make life affordable for families and to deliver the services people need, they also failed to build a strong, sustainable economy that works for everybody.
More than 30,000 forestry jobs have been lost under the B.C. Liberals, and even more forest jobs are in danger because of Christy Clark’s failure to fight for a fair softwood lumber agreement.
The B.C. Liberals had two years to take action on Softwood Lumber before the deal expired and became a crisis for B.C. communities. They stood by and did nothing.
One of my first acts as premier will be to travel to Washington DC to fight for a fair agreement that protects our forest industry.
We won’t be able to fix 16 years of B.C. Liberal choices overnight, but help is on the way.
By delivering on the infrastructure and services people need, and making life more affordable for families we can and will build a more sustainable economy on a foundation of shared prosperity that will benefit everybody.
That’s the kind of government I’m going to lead. A government that is working for you.