The people of B.C. work hard, and they expect a government that works hard for them. As we begin a new session of the Legislature – the first for our new government – our focus is on getting results for people.
Families today are working harder than ever, but they’re falling behind. They spend more and more income on a safe and secure place to live, and sacrifice more time away from home on longer commutes.
Parents need safe, affordable childcare. Yet many must leave the workforce because wait lists are too long, spaces aren’t available, or care is just too expensive.
Families want to raise their children in the communities they grew up in. Yet housing prices are so unaffordable they are being pushed out – a situation as astonishing as it is unacceptable.
And seniors, who need stable care and a helping hand, are struggling to find timely medical care, and an affordable home so they can live their final years in dignity.
The problems facing people today are the result of past choices. Choices that resulted in a generation of students learning in overcrowded classrooms, that saw housing prices spiral out of control, growing waits for health care and the rise of part-time, low-paying jobs.
Our government is making different choices. British Columbians can count on us to take steps to make life easier. We’re putting people first.
Our government has three priorities. First, it’s time that we made life more affordable. We’re opening the doors to opportunity by making Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning tuition-free. And we’re removing unfair tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges gives daily commuters well-deserved relief.
There is much more to do. We will increase the minimum wage, bring in affordable child care, fix the problems at ICBC and BC Hydro, and tackle the housing affordability crisis affecting so many across the province. We will work with municipalities, co-operatives and the private sector to increase the supply of rental, social, co-op and owner-purchase homes. We have to make housing affordable for everyone.
Second, our government is going to improve the services people count on. We will promote and protect public health care, and invest in education from kindergarten to college and university. We will partner with local and federal governments to deliver transit options that get people moving. And we’ll restore the Human Rights Commission because everyone should feel welcome to share in the future of our province.
Third, we will grow a sustainable economy that works for everyone. B.C. will invest in traditional industries like forestry and mining, while also encouraging growth in innovation and high tech. We will take action on climate change, the biggest challenge of our generation, and turn it into opportunities for people by creating thousands of jobs through energy retrofits. And we will build schools, hospitals, roads and homes for people.
This is our government’s vision for a Better B.C. – where our economy remains strong, families get ahead, and communities get the services they need and deserve.
The road ahead won’t be easy. It will take time for the better choices our government is making to take hold. We will do it, together.
As the Legislature resumes, families can rest assured that we will work hard, today and every day, to make life better for them.
We’re getting to work, working for you.