VICTORIA – While Finance Minister Colin Hansen did his best to make the case that ten years of BC Liberal government has improved the lives of British Columbians, few people are buying that argument, says Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.
“While life is certainly better for friends of the Premier, I wouldn’t say that overall life is better for the average British Columbian,” said Macdonald. “Seniors who are struggling to make it on a fixed income certainly wouldn’t say that life has gotten easier since the BC Liberals came into power.”
The 2011 budget includes, for example, a further 6 per cent increase to Medical Services Plan (MSP) monthly premiums, a real hardship for seniors. This added cost on top of increased fees for long-term care and the imposition of the HST makes it harder to make ends meet.
Macdonald also points out that nothing is being done to address the fact that British Columbia continues to have the highest rate of child poverty in the country.
“How we treat our seniors and our children is a true measure of our society. Without question, using that as our benchmark, the BC Liberals have failed.”
As Opposition Critic for Forestry, Macdonald has also been calling on the government to step up to the plate to address the need for reforestation but instead of taking responsibility for the state of our public forestlands, the BC Liberals have cut the funding for forest stewardship and tree planting by $21 million.
“This budget is a real disappointment. Instead of taking seriously the needs of the people of British Columbia, the BC Liberals continue to make choices that neglect our public lands and leave children and seniors behind.”