North Island MLA Claire Trevena made her official response to the provincial budget in the Legislature Monday declaring the BC Liberal priorities are wrong and the government is acting irresponsibly.
“A government’s role is to invest in its people; to provide services for people; to provide infrastructure for people and to recognise that some people are not able to make it on their own and will need the support of government services and government assistance,” Trevena told the Legislature.
“And at a time when we are still uncertain about our economic future, when we are still talking about recession, that need for public investment is even greater.”
Trevena said the budget failed the test of sustainability “miserably” and called for a coherent and consistent approach to sustainable development.
She highlighted the impact the government’s policies are having on education in the North Island, with possible school closures in School District 85 and the impact of government downloading on School Districts 84 and 72.
The other target for Trevena was the government’s lack of commitment to fighting climate change. The budget announced billion dollar subsidies to the oil and gas sector at the same time as it made deep cuts into government departments responsible for environmental regulations and sustainability.
“We also have to remember when talking about cuts to sections of ministries that these ministries are responsible for our commons – our lands, our waters. These should not be simply commodities but need to be treated with respect and as a trust for the future of all species including our children,” said Trevena.
“This is a real problem with this budget. People have decried its lack of vision. There is also a lack of responsibility.”
The BC Liberal’s latest justification for the Harmonised Sales Tax, that it is needed to pay for health care, was ridiculed by Trevena as “government spin out of control.” Debate on the implementation of that tax is expected to start shortly.
The full draft text of Trevena’s speech can be found at: http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/39th2nd/H00308y.htm