(Unceded Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam territories — Vancouver, BC) Yesterday’s election call gives British Columbians the chance to choose the future they want for their province, BC Federation of Labour President Laird Cronk said today.
"We have a choice in BC: go back to the senseless cuts that left us vulnerable and left so many people out in the cold, or build a future for all that puts working people and families at the forefront," Cronk said.
"After too many years of being ruled by a party that governed only on behalf of the most wealthy and powerful, British Columbians have had a chance to see what it's like to have a government that listens to working people. And that government has made major progress for BC workers and families, before and during the pandemic."
Cronk cited pre-COVID government initiatives like increasing the minimum wage, investing in affordable childcare and housing, eliminating MSP premiums, improvements to the Labour Code and Employment Standards Act, developing the most ambitious climate action plan in Canada and recognizing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in law.
During the pandemic, he said, John Horgan and the BCNDP government put working people at the forefront of the province's response, with such measures as job-protected sick leave, income supports, help for renters and BC's most vulnerable people, and making changes to improve worker safety and workers' compensation.
"Now is the time to keep this going, with a stable, four-year NDP government," Cronk said. "We've arrived at the point where this province needs to make decisions not just about getting through the next few months, but what BC will look like for many years to come."
He pointed to BCFED polling showing that 72% of British Columbians want to see BC make changes to support a fairer, more equal province, rather than going back to the way things were.
"There's still a lot to accomplish," Cronk said. "And we'll continue pushing for commitments on issues like paid sick leave, a truly worker-centered Workers' Compensation Board, expanding and improving public services, investing in building sustainable green infrastructure and more."