August 30, 2022
VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the Minister of Finance announced B.C. ended its 2021-22 fiscal year with a $1.3-billion surplus.
“This government has been raking in money from taxes while failing to deliver on its most basic duties,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “One million people are without a family doctor, ERs are closed, and ambulances are not available. Cost of living has been spiraling while the BC NDP has refused to fulfill its own 2020 election promises like free contraception and support for renters.
“This government is applauding themselves for economic management but we do not have a healthy economy when people are working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
“And let me be clear – the government knew that the fiscal outlook was trending in this direction. Multiple reports from February and March highlighted that due in large part to federal transfers, BC was projected to eliminate its deficit. Why, then, is the Premier asking the Prime Minister for more money to deliver basic services, when he already has the money in pocket?
“The housing crisis continues to grow, as more and more people are unable to afford adequate housing. People on disability or social assistance are struggling more and more as supports do not match the rate of inflation. Meager supports to people are allowing crises to spiral, and these are becoming more and more costly.
A recent poll found that 61% of British Columbians cannot keep up with the rising cost of living. Compounding crises, coupled with decades of austerity and inaction, are hurting people across the province. Instead of patting themselves on the back, this government needs to acknowledge the real challenges people are facing, and quickly move to provide services to those who need them.
The BC Greens have offered multiple solutions including:
- Covering mental health care under MSP
- Taking swift action to protect primary care
- Making transit free for the summer
- Investing in co-op and not for profit housing
“The BC NDP appear to have little interest in acting with urgency in response to these overlapping crises.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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