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OP-ED: MLA responds to budget

Photo: NDP MLA Katrine Conroy

On Sept. 1, the B.C. Liberals presented their post-election budget, and offered the people of B.C. nothing other than a new tax for consumers, increased Medical Services Plan premiums and cuts to service says Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy.

“If the Liberal party had admitted that they were bringing in the HST and that they would be making cuts to education, health and arts, just to name a few, before or during the election in May, I think we would have had a different outcome.” stated Conroy, “This budget is an admission that the B.C. Liberals misled the public and have no ideas about how to deal with the economic downturn”.

Conroy stated that despite the B.C. Liberals’ promises to protect health care and education, today’s budget does not have any funding for increased costs and will mean the increase of wait lists in health care and cuts to services for students.

“School districts in the Kootenays will have to make some tough decisions this year because the B.C. Liberals’ budget cut their funding and increased their costs. The Government has taken money away that was promised, funds already spent on upkeep of school buildings in preparation for school in the fall. What can school districts do now? I am also very concerned about the level of health care that can now be provided in this region.” Said Conroy.

“What was missing from the government discussions prior to the budget was honesty. They needed to be honest about the true financial shape that the province was in and what they were going to do about it. They knew during the election how badly the economy was deteriorating and choose to ignore it.” said Conroy.

As well as cuts to health care and education there will be cuts to the Ministry of Environment, support to post secondary students, and cuts to the Ministry of Transportation, just to name a few, all of which are critical to the citizens of Kootenay West.

Under the Campbell government, B.C. has had the worst rate of full-time job losses, the second-worst performing economy, highest level of child poverty in the country, the lowest minimum wage and now the highest deficit ever.