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Furstenau: Fiscal update shows B.C. can afford to invest in urgent social needs

November 29, 2023
   2 min read

For immediate release

November 28, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, Finance Minister Katrine Conroy gave a fiscal and economic update on the province’s second quarterly report followed by the Auditor General’s release of the Summary Financial Statements Audit. Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan has issued the following statement:

“It is difficult to have confidence in a government that does not effectively manage its financial affairs. Each year, this government announces unexpected surpluses, and yet we have seen a steady decline in basic government services. People in B.C. can’t count on health care when they need it, students continue to attend school in portables, and the social safety net is in tatters.  

“This government can improve the lives of British Columbians by investing in social housing, health care, childcare, and education. They need to ensure that they are not allowing the gap between rich and poor to widen in this province.  

“The one-time renter’s rebate of $400 for individuals earning under $60,000 will barely make a dent when B.C. now has the highest number of renters spending more than 50% of their income on rent in Canada, with more than 100,000 households across the province in this precarious position. The BC NDP can be doing more to provide immediate relief for those facing housing insecurity.

“The reliance on dwindling exports in sectors like LNG and forestry raises questions about the government’s economic strategy. Why does the province continue to bank on a sunset industry rather than invest in clean energy that will create economic and energy security?

“The Auditor General again released a qualified audit opinion for the province, stating that ‘MLAs using the statements to assess accountability and for decision making can’t depend on the accuracy of them’. How are we supposed to have faith that this Government can run the province, when they can’t even manage public accounts properly? 

“Accounting errors by the Government mean there is $134 million additional in the surplus in this financial year. The people of B.C. are expected to keep their financial affairs in order, and they should be able to expect the same from their government.”

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Media contact
JoJo Beattie   
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca

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