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Budget reactions from local MLAs
British Columbia’s new government has released a budget update that puts people first, Finance Minister Carole James announced. Learn more: https://news.gov.bc.ca/15379

Budget reactions from local MLAs

Reaction to this weeks financial statement is split, as you expect, along party lines.

NDP MLA for Nechako Lakes Doug Donaldson noted the were no mention of any direct payments to those who got caught up in the wildfires. He says while the government has pulled together several funds people can draw from, there should have been some monetary compensation to lend a much need helping hand, now. Donaldson adds forestry and ranching along with tourism have been badly hurt by the wildfires and evacuations that followed.

Skeena liberal MLA Ellis Ross took the government to task over the absence of any mention of the north in the statement. LNG is no longer a priority of the provincial government. He points out the ministry dealing with LNG has, in fact, been rolled into another ministry. As well, Ross noted the absence of any mention of a new hospital for Terrace. Despite the back and forth dialogue with the liberals and their eventual decision to go ahead with the project, the NDP doesn’t see it as a high priority issue.

However, NDP MLA for the North Coast Jennifer Rice felt the government was keeping its promises and she sites raising social assistance payment as one. She says the biggest concern among BCer’s is affordability. Rice says she doesn’t agree with the liberals who say the government is overspending for no reason. Rice says the amount of the promises doesn’t exceed total revenues. She notes under the liberals health care premiums, ICBC rates and hydro rates kept increasing. She adds the government is putting money into areas to make them more affordable, siting affordable housing as one sector that the liberals neglected.

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