Little New in B.C. Throne Speech
Tradition dictates the Throne Speech given at the beginning of a legislative session will outline the government’s agenda. If British Columbians were waiting to hear hints of something new beyond the well-worn theme of restraint and promise of an LNG boom, they were to be disappointed.
“Premier Clark has had great success being consistent with her message, but unfortunately for British Columbians her Jobs Plan hasn’t met with the same success,” said MoveUP President David Black. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives put out a report in January noting B.C’s private sector actually lost 12,000 jobs in the first 10 months of 2013.
“I am glad the speech touched on skills training, an issue championed by the labour movement but long ignored by successive BC Liberal governments. Job seekers and our economy are now feeling the effects of that neglect,” said Black.
“Likewise, since both BC Hydro and ICBC will be going into bargaining this spring, I was interested to hear labour peace played such an important part in the speech,” Black continued. “However, it was more than a little discordant following the Supreme Court’s decision that the BC Liberals violated teachers’ constitutional rights, and the revelation that they were also trying to provoke a teachers strike.”
Black also agreed with B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair who said there was little in the budget to offer relief for working and middle class families feeling the pinch of stagnant wages and higher fees for medical services, tuition fees and hydro.