OPINION: Addressing the issues that matter


NDP MLA for Richmond-Queensborough


THESE days, people in B.C. are facing some big challenges – from global inflation, to healthcare, and finding an affordable place to live. Many people feel like they’re working harder than ever, but just getting by, instead of getting ahead.

But I want British Columbians to know that their provincial government has their backs, and we’re committing ourselves to taking real action, with results that you can see and feel.

This week, the Throne Speech outlined our plan to tackle these challenges and build a stronger, more secure future for everyone.

In a time of economic uncertainty, instead of cutting services or making people pay out of pocket for private healthcare, like the BC Liberals suggest, we’re making sure that your public services work for you.

We’re investing in new hospitals, a new medical school and better cancer care. We’re also getting internationally educated doctors and nurses into our clinics and hospitals sooner, so that people can get the care they need, when they need it.

Everyone should be able to buy or rent a home they can afford, no matter their income. This spring we’re going to continue cracking down on speculators who drive up costs, while we launch a refreshed middle-class housing strategy, which includes building more homes near transit and other important services in communities.

When it comes to our communities, people should always feel safe at home and going about their daily life. We’re continuing the work we started in the fall to change the way we respond to violent offenders, and in the coming weeks we’ll take new steps to crack down on gangs and money laundering. We’re also introducing a new law that will target the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, which is also known as revenge porn.

Global inflation and the long-lasting impacts of the pandemic are causing prices to rise for everyday necessities. We’ll be introducing new measures to help everyone, with targeted help for those with lower incomes and families with children.

Last fall, parents of kids in kindergarten and younger saw major fee reductions for child care, and later this year, parents with school-aged kids will see those savings as well for before and after school care.

For the last five years, New Democrats have been working hard to help B.C. weather some storms – both literally and figuratively. We’ve made some good progress, but we can’t let our guards down. The stakes are too high and there is much more to do. We’re staying focused on the things that matter.