By John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia
Making life more affordable, improving the services people count on, and making sure everyone benefits from B.C.’s strong economy, was at the heart of our government’s third speech from the throne.
The Throne Speech sets out the progress we’ve made, and the choices our government is making, to fix problems and make life better for people in B.C.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a good life in the communities they call home, with housing and child care they can afford, quality public services like health care and education, good jobs and a better future.
For years, choices were made for the few at the top, while life became more difficult for everyone else. Our government is making different choices and working to build a better B.C. for everyone.
Instead of letting costs rise, our government is working to put money back into people’s pockets. To tackle the housing crisis, we’ve taken action to build more housing, curb speculation, and improve security for renters, and we’re getting results. B.C.’s housing market is finally beginning to moderate after years of spiraling out of control.
Our $1 billion investment in child care has lowered costs for families, increased the number of licensed spaces, and delivered the highest quality of care for B.C. kids. It’s good for parents, good for kids, and good for the economy.
To help people struggling to make ends meet, our government has cut MSP premiums in half and will eliminate fees entirely by Jan. 1, 2020. To help the 22 million passengers who travel on BC Ferries each year, we’ve frozen ferry fares on major routes and provided discounts on minor and northern routes for the second consecutive year.
Instead of letting communities fend for themselves, we are delivering the services people count on. That includes faster, better access to health care, with a network of urgent primary care centres, new hospitals, more MRIs and more hours of care for seniors. To give our kids the best possible start, we are hiring thousands of more teachers and building and upgrading schools around the province to make them safer.
Instead of working only for the wealthy few, our government is working to make sure people benefit from the strength of our economy. The CleanBC climate plan will make sure we are protecting this beautiful province, while building a strong and sustainable future. Created in partnership with the BC Green Caucus, CleanBC is government’s roadmap to reduce emissions and create an innovative, low-carbon economy.
We’re encouraging economic growth across sectors by investing in people and the infrastructure and services communities need. We’re also encouraging sustainable growth in B.C.’s traditional industries– and working to increase local processing, Indigenous partnerships, and jobs for local workers and communities. And we’re opening the doors to skills training, so people can be part of the skilled workforce B.C. needs.
From revenue sharing to economic development, First Nations must be full participants in decisions that affect their rights and lands, and share in the prosperity of this province, to benefit everyone in B.C. It’s all part of delivering a strong, sustainable economy that works for people, now and into the future.
Making life better for people starts with the choices we make every day. Today and every day, our government is going to keep working hard to make life better for people.