B.C. Lt. Gov. Janet Austin presents the NDP government’s speech from the throne at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 12, 2019. (Hansard TV)

Opponents, business group pan John Horgan’s throne speech

Pitch on federally regulated cellphone costs questioned

Premier John Horgan is showing a lack of direction with a throne speech that highlighted his desire to reduce cellphone rates and do something about scalpers snapping up live event tickets, B.C. opposition leaders say.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson noted that it was 20 minutes into the speech before the word “jobs” was mentioned.

“The premier himself admitted that people in this province are working two and three jobs and still can’t get ahead,” Wilkinson said after the speech was read to open the spring session of the B.C. legislature.

“There was nothing of any substance in this throne speech about how to make life better for British Columbians except a few token things like cellphone bills, which are purely federal jurisdiction, and an attempt to reduce the cost of concert tickets.

“This is a government that’s spent all its money already, that is running out of gas, and we’re gravely concerned because there are a lot of economic storm clouds on the horizon throughout the world.”

That view was echoed by Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of B.C.

“Where is the future economic growth necessary to sustain families and communities across the province going to come from?” D’Avignon said. “As economic activity continues to shift away from frothy housing markets and debt-financed consumption, we need to redouble efforts to build ‘tradeable’ industries that can generate export earnings and support good jobs.”

RELATED: Throne speech promises action on money laundering

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver called the speech “a bit of a laundry list” of initiatives. He said he is pleased the NDP government is carrying on with its “Clean BC” climate and new technology plan, which the Greens used their balance of power to have a strong hand in.

“Although ironically, immediately following that, they start talking about LNG,” Weaver said. “Of course we’ve made it very clear to government that we have no intention of supporting any legislation this session that would enable the generational sellout embodied in LNG.”

One legislative change that will be needed is to fulfill Horgan’s promise to repeal the LNG income tax imposed by the Christy Clark government. But the LNG Canada project at Kitimat is years away from production of liquefied natural gas that would generate income.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sarah Wark faces do-or-die match at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark’s rink will face Manitoba Thursday morning with a championship pool berth on the line.

Chilliwack Chief Kevin Wall nominated for BCHL awards

Wall is in the running for MVP and top rookie, and will find out if he’s won before the playoffs.

Permaculture group planning a seed swap

The AGM is Feb. 23 for Valley Permaculture Guild members

Chilliwack-Kent MLA unimpressed with ‘classic NDP high-tax-and-spend budget’

Laurie Throness said there was nothing in Tuesday’s presentation for Chilliwack

Effort to move Chilliwack heritage house on Maitland falls through

Next up is an open house where interested parties can purchase heritage elements from the developer

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read