THE BC NDP government’s 2022 Budget acknowledges the challenges ahead but lacks the vision needed for a province dealing with overlapping crises, the BC Green Party said on Tuesday.
“A government shows you their priorities by how they spend their money, not with what they say,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “We heard this NDP government use the right words on climate and inequality, but once again they failed to deliver on the outcomes. In a time like this, people need a vision that meets their needs while giving them hope for the future. This budget didn’t deliver.”
“There are some positive investments in Budget 2022, like core funding for sexual assault centres and the overdue launch of the DRIPA Secretariat,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “Budget 2022 also creates a dedicated ministry for Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship, and includes a significant investment in emergency management and recovery in light of the climate crisis. I applaud this government for taking these steps in the right direction.”
“Ultimately, this budget does little overall to address the systemic issues we face,” said Furstenau. ”This government continues to project increased revenues from fossil fuel development, mining, and housing sales – undermining any investments made in affordability and climate resiliency. As long as people are struggling to house themselves, feed their families and deal with the impacts of climate change, our economy will not be healthy.”
The BC Green Party said that the following key areas were lacking in Budget 2022:
* Healthcare: No expansion of safe supply and harm reduction measures; no funding to support family doctors providing lifelong care; no investment into supporting healthcare workers; no expansion of mental health services; and, no recognition of the importance of preventive health.
* Climate resilience: Lack of conservation financing or details of species at risk recovery; no changes to the oil-and-gas royalty review system; insufficient funding to strengthen our transportation corridors; and little expansion of our public transit system outside of Metro Vancouver.
* Economy: Lack of a vision for a truly inclusive economy that leaves no one behind; no real use of genuine progress indicators; no investment in making education more affordable, despite one million highly-skilled jobs opening in the next ten years; and, insignificant investment in circular economy and cleantech.
* Housing: Continued forecasted government profits from rising home prices, while taking no measures to cool the market, and a lack of support for non-market, non-profit housing initiatives.