GOVERNMENT should work for people. That is my belief and it is at the heart of every decision our government makes, and every action we take.
We committed to make life more affordable, improve the services people count on, and create good-paying, sustainable jobs in every corner of the province.
Over the last few months we’ve taken the first steps towards making those commitments a reality. As we look toward the New Year, we are looking forward to making life better for people across B.C.
It hasn’t been easy. The list of challenges our government inherited is long: an unrestrained housing crisis, eroded services, unacceptably high poverty levels, stagnant wages, a financially strapped ICBC, cost overruns and mismanagement at Site C, inaction on climate change, an overdose emergency, and a fight to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline, to name a few.
In the face of those challenges, we’ve made some tough choices. Site C is the most recent and difficult example, but it’s not the only the one. From getting the budget right, to tackling the financial crisis the BC Liberals left at ICBC, to crafting a comprehensive housing plan, we have tough work ahead of us. But we are determined to get it done so government works better for more people.
This fall, we changed politics for the better by banning big money in politics, toughening lobbying rules, and paving the way for a referendum on proportional representation, to give people a say in how we vote.
We’re improving services by investing in education for our kids, adding trades training spaces at B.C. colleges and universities, and making college and university tuition-free for former children in care.
We’re making life more affordable by removing unfair bridge tolls, raising the minimum wage and increasing income assistance and disability payments.
We’re growing a sustainable economy that works for people by supporting traditional industries like forestry, energy and mining, and encouraging growth in small business, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, technology and innovation.
We established a Ministry for Mental Health and Addictions to tackle the overdose crisis and help people living with mental illness. We’re fighting for BC forest workers in the softwood lumber dispute. We’re making reconciliation with Indigenous peoples a cross-government priority, and we’re standing up for BC’s interests against a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea.
There’s so much more to do, but I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.
As we look towards the New Year, we know there are serious challenges ahead, including the crisis housing affordability, affordable child care. We’re determined to find solutions while we look out for the best interests of people in B.C.
It’s time for B.C. to work for everyone, not just the few at the top. Together, we’re going to make that happen.