BC Liberals: Economic recovery out of sight in Budget 2021

THE BC LIberals said on Tuesday that after a delay of two months, British Columbians expecting a plan to help restore their economic health will find little support in Premier John Horgan’s latest bungled budget.

“British Columbians were looking for a shot of optimism that the NDP had a plan going forward, that individuals and small businesses who have struggled for the past year would get some help,” said Mike Bernier, BC Liberal Critic for Finance. “What we saw will be a disappointment to those people. There’s no plan for economic recovery, there’s still no jobs plan, and there’s nothing to make British Columbians feel hopeful about the future of this province as we move beyond COVID-19.”

While we are in the third wave of the pandemic:

* Health authorities are seeing a cut of $1.1 billion in funding
* School districts are seeing a cut of $53 million
* There are no new supports to help people get by immediately, today
* There is no new, comprehensive funding for jobs and economic recovery
* For months, the BC Liberals have called for a private-sector jobs plan, and a jobs plan for women and youth — these are missing in action
* There is no funding for the George Massey Tunnel Replacement
* John Horgan is getting two new schools in Sooke, but on the Lower Mainland there is no new Burke Mountain School and no new Olympic Village School
* The second Surrey Hospital is only notionally in the capital plan, with no immediate funding
“All you need to know about the NDP’s priorities is that the Minister of Jobs – the one in charge of economic recovery – saw his budget cut,” said Bernier. “The recovery grant funding is from last May, which illustrates just how incompetent they’ve been. They’ve abandoned their commitment to affordability. There’s no new support for individuals who are struggling to pay their bills, the $400 annual renters’ rebate has disappeared, and they’ve actually cut funding to school districts.”

He added: “John Horgan has repeatedly said we’re all in this together, but this budget doesn’t deliver on that promise. The only plan seems to be an expansion of government services. It’s not a stretch to say Horgan and the NDP have blown it for all of us.”