Good jobs create strong communities

0
429
John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats

Victoria: The foundation of a good life is a good job. Good-paying, stable work builds strong families and strong communities.

That’s why I’ve been travelling around British Columbia talking about the opportunity to create good-paying, stable jobs in communities across the province over the past week.

Because after 16 years of failures from Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals, people are struggling to find good work that pays the bills.

Half of British Columbians are living paycheque to paycheque. Many would end up homeless if their pay was delayed by even two weeks. That’s not the kind of stability that builds strong families and strong communities.

Most of the jobs that have been created under Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals are part time, low-wage, and unstable. And the jobs that have disappeared on their watch were good jobs, jobs that supported families and communities.

Forestry jobs are a good example. Since the B.C. Liberals took power a staggering 30,000 forestry jobs have disappeared and 100 mills have closed. Those were the kind of jobs that gave people opportunities to grow and succeed.

My first real job was in forestry. If it wasn’t for that work I wouldn’t be where I am today.

It used to be that a young person could spend a couple years working in the forest industry and save up enough money to go to university or to learn a trade. Or they could work in forestry their whole lives and afford to buy a house and raise a family.

Under Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals those opportunities are disappearing, to be replaced by low-wage, unstable jobs that don’t give a person enough to live on, let alone enough to save up to make their life better. No wonder so many people are worried that their children will have harder lives than themselves.

It doesn’t have to be this way. I have a plan to create good-paying, stable jobs in communities across the province. I want people growing up today to have the same kinds of opportunities that I did.

That’s why I’ve put forward a plan to revitalize and renew forestry, by ensuring B.C. logs create B.C. jobs, promoting and exporting new wood technology, and ensuring government projects use B.C. wood. And I’ll protect the future of our forests and create thousands of jobs by replanting the forest lands that Christy Clark has let big forest companies leave bare and empty.

The tallest wood building is at UBC. It uses steel-strong, precision-manufactured B.C. wood. It went up months ahead of schedule because of how easy it is to assemble buildings made of engineered wood.

Currently we’re not producing very much of this engineered wood. It costs a lot to set up new plants, and with the B.C. Liberals shipping raw logs out of the province, potential investors can’t be sure they can get the raw materials they need to run a business. We’re literally shipping jobs and opportunities out of our province.

That’s wrong. It shows how Christy Clark has the wrong priorities. She’s doing what’s best for her rich friends and corporate donors who paid her $300,000 in extra salary, not what’s best for ordinary people and communities.

British Columbians deserve a government and a premier that is working for them, not for big money donors.

I’ll bring back jobs and opportunities for B.C. families, starting with forestry.

I’ll build strong communities by creating good-paying stable jobs that people can rely on. Because I work for ordinary people. Not for the rich and big corporations.