BC throne speech ‘turns the corner on 16 years of neglect’ - BCGEU

The BC NDP government Speech from the Throne isn't perfect, but it starts to repair the damage done to public services by the previous government, says the BC Government and Service Employees' Union.

"I've witnessed many throne speeches, but this is the first time I've seen a real commitment to progressive policies that will make people's lives better," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "If the government delivers on their commitments, we will have turned the corner on 16 years of neglect for the public services that British Columbians rely on.

"The central themes of affordability, housing and childcare resonate with our members, who both provide and rely on these services. British Columbia has an extremely high cost of living, and government initiatives to help families access quality, affordable services is welcome news.

"The commitment to fix public services that people count on is extremely important for our members and the public. Under the previous government, public services were dramatically reduced and left to erode for the last 16 years. Our environment, natural resource and social service sectors urgently need significant new investment to reverse the decades-long decline in service levels.

"It's a long list, but areas that we believe need immediate attention include: child protection and community health services; corrections, sheriffs and legal aid; natural resource management; environmental protection; post secondary funding and employment standards.

"We know that the damage done by the former BC Liberal government can't be reversed overnight. It will take time to restore proper service levels to British Columbians. We will be here to support government as they do the right thing and urge them to do more to make a more affordable, equitable and healthy society for everyone, not just the one percent."