LETTER: Right now, there is no greater priorities than jobs
As world leaders grapple with another global economic downturn, the jobs agenda must be front and centre for all BC politicians, regardless of their political stripes or level of government.
That’s especially true for municipal politicians, who have been meeting this week at the Union of BC Municipalities convention. Now more than ever, they need to appreciate that it’s a dynamic private sector – not bigger government – that creates the jobs and supports the services that communities like this one need to thrive.
As civic election races take shape, voters should ask their candidates about their vision for growing the local economy. All too often, our member businesses – BC’s job creators – tell us they’re stymied by local government. By miring job creators in bureaucratic red tape, unfair taxation and lengthy review processes, economic opportunities will simply go elsewhere.
How many times do local politicians, however well-meaning, cater to even the smallest NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) contingent rather than take a stand for local economic development. Or engage in partisan grandstanding on issues way outside municipal jurisdiction they can’t do anything about?
With the world economy on the brink, politicians must get their priorities straight. They need only ask one question: What are we doing to help foster new private sector investment, create new jobs and new economic opportunities for the long-term benefit of our constituents?
Let’s also hope the jobs agenda is the top priority when the BC Legislature resumes October 3rd. Premier Christy Clark has unveiled a jobs strategy that deserves full consideration, discussion and support. It recognizes that when government creates a positive climate for investment, growth and jobs, the private sector will respond.
That’s why the BC Chamber of Commerce and our network of local chambers in communities like this one are calling on governments at all levels to keep a lid on taxation, keep expenditures in line, and keep regulation to a minimum.
Government does its best when it facilitates job creation through skills training, flexible labour policies, low taxes on businesses and workers, faster project approvals and new infrastructure. Taking leadership to help open lucrative Asia Pacific markets for BC’s resources, such as liquefied natural gas, will also create a new wave of employment throughout the province.
By continuing to unlock our immense human and natural resource potential, businesses of all sizes – small, medium and large – can create thousands of new jobs – now, and for future generations.
President & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce