Victoria – The first throne speech under the new NDP government (with minority support from the Greens), reaffirms the election promises made by now Premier John Horgan.
The release from the Province:
“The problems facing people today are the result of past choices, where only a few benefited while families fell further behind,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our government will focus its decisions and actions on making life better for people to help families get ahead.”
Delivered by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon, the throne speech sets the direction of government for the coming legislative session. The Premier says this session will deal with immediate priorities that will help build a government that works for people.
A bill will be put forth this fall to have the madated election date to the fall, possibly October from the current May election date. That said, technically the next provincial election could be October 2021.
The throne speech sets out three priorities for B.C.:
1. Make life more affordable for British Columbians. With action already taken on removing bridge tolls, helping reduce poverty by increasing income assistance and disability rates, and making university and college tuition free for former children in care, the government will move this fall to:
- Make housing more affordable by closing fixed-term loopholes on leases to close the door on unfair rent increases and increasing the stock of affordable housing around the province.
- Establish a fair wages commission with the goal of delivering a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
- Fixing significant problems at ICBC and BC Hydro, while containing costs for British Columbians.
2. Improve services for British Columbians, with action being taken in the coming months to:
- Restore proper funding to schools to give students the resources and supports they need to succeed.
- Promote and protect quality public health care, including tackling B.C.’s overdose crisis and expanding treatment for people living with addictions.
- Get people moving by providing people with disabilities access to the transportation supports they need, including an annual bus pass for those who want one, and working with communities and the federal government on new transit and transportation projects.
3. Help build a strong, sustainable economy, where all British Columbians share in the benefits of the province’s resources, innovation and talent by:
- Continuing to sustainably support traditional industries, including forestry, mining, agriculture and aquaculture, as well as natural gas development.
- Moving to make B.C. a world leader in engineered wood products and value-added resource innovation.
- Delivering a new capital investment plan that will focus on building new schools, hospitals, roads and more, and helping to create well-paying jobs throughout the province.