Vancouver – In its third Speech from the Throne, B.C.’s NDP government renewed their commitment to improving affordability and expanding services for British Columbians.
Key steps included the introduction of B.C.’s first ever Poverty Reduction Strategy, the full elimination of MSP premiums and maintaining the freeze on major ferry routes and discounts on minor routes.
BC Federation of Labour President Laird Cronk and Secretary Treasurer Sussanne Skidmore were in the Legislature to listen to the speech.
“The affordability and service measures outlined in today’s Throne Speech will have a meaningful impact on working people across B.C.,” said Cronk, “Improving the services British Columbians depend on is also a tremendous opportunity to expand on good jobs across our province.”
Today’s Throne Speech touched on reducing class sizes with the hiring of 3,700 teachers and education assistants; increased staffing levels in seniors care facilities and increasing surgeries.
The speech also reinforced the important role resource sector jobs play in B.C. and focused on government’s commitment to increase local processing of resources and job creation with the Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative and the Mining Jobs Task Force. The speech also highlighted last year’s commitment to build publicly funded infrastructure projects through Community Benefits Agreements.
“We’ll be watching for more information on the CleanBC initiative over the coming months to see how we can harness the opportunities to create good, family supporting jobs while reducing emissions and meeting our climate change obligations,” said Cronk.
“We were especially pleased to see the commitment this government is making B.C.’s Indigenous communities with the introduction of legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Skidmore.
Key factors in the success of future job creation will be the legislation the government is expected to introduce to modernize the Labour Code and strengthen Employment Standards.
“After 16 years of BC Liberal neglect, we will be vigilant to ensure the Horgan government continues to build on its plan to put working people first,” said Cronk.