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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Given all that, it scares me then when I hear Premier John Horgan say, ‘We’re going to continue the work we started two and a half years ago’

Yesterday the BC Throne Speech was delivered amidst one of the ugliest protests to ever hit the BC Legislature.

A large crowd of individuals blocked, and attempted to block, access to Members of the Legislative Assembly ... to men and women who work to keep the wheels of government operating ... to Lieutenant Governor Jane Austen ... and to reporters who keep us informed of what governments is doing (or not doing).

It was an ugly day for democracy – at least in my opinion – however democracy did prevail, and eventually the throne speech was presented.

According to Premier John Horgan, the Speech from the Throne marked ... the positive changes people across BC are starting to see through stronger public services, policies that are making life more affordable, and the opportunities a strong, sustainable economy can provide for everyone.

Horgan stated, “British Columbians are starting to see the benefits of a government that puts people first”.

After years of falling behind, people are starting to make progress – but we’re not done yet. Today’s throne speech shows how our government is going to keep BC moving forward and build a stronger province for everyone.”

A BC government media release regarding yesterdays Throne Speech remarked that our province ‘remains an economic leader in Canada’ ... with the ‘lowest unemployment rate’ ... and ... ‘high business optimism’.

As was pointed out here on this blog on February 10th however, BC is NOT moving forward for many in this province as they give up hope of finding work ... and in fact even BC Stat’s Infoline indicated that exports from BC producers, to the world, had declined by 6.4% last year (2019).

No wonder then, that BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson observed ... “British Columbia is heading in the wrong direction and we’re going to make sure people know the opportunities they’re missing out on while John Horgan sits on his hands. British Columbians deserve fewer selfies and more action from John Horgan.”

And also saying, “... the NDP Speech from the Throne failed to address or introduce anything at all for British Columbians. John Horgan is re-using NDP talking points from 2017 and ignoring the fact the NDP has no intention of keeping their election promises”.

BC Conservative leader Trevor Bolin’s first thought, after reading the Throne Speech, was to say, “I have read it three times expecting to see something, -- anything -- that’s a benefit for British Columbians”.

Bolin continued, saying ... “If you were like me, reading the highlights of yesterday’s throne speech and waiting for something, or anything that was relevant to enhancing your life BC, and missed it ... you weren’t alone”.

The Throne Speech, was a good example why people have given up on not only government, but the politicians they elect to represent them. Premier Horgan wasted no time in telling us he is fixing the issues that plague British Columbians (the same issues he spoke on a year ago), but has failed to actually fix them”, stated the Conservative Party leader.

Nechako Lakes Liberal MLA John Rustad, echoed a similar observation to me last night when he remarked, “This throne speech was void of direction but recycled their failing ideas. It's a throne speech for big government, and big taxes”.

So are, as Premier John Horgan stated, the people of BC ... “more prepared to face the challenges of today and tomorrow, because they have a government that is a partner in their future”?

Given the floundering state of the BC forest industry ... a lack of any new mines beginning operation in over two years ... declining exports from our manufacturers ... ballooning costs for infrastructure projects ... ever increasing debts ... and increases in part-time, rather than full-time jobs ... I for one would say ‘no’.
Image from a video of last August -- and still
there is no change in the situation
In fact, given all that, it scares me then when I hear Premier Horgan say, “We’re going to continue the work we started two and a half years ago, to make life better for people, so that B.C. can once again be a place of hope and opportunity – a stronger province, for everyone.”

If that’s better, then I don’t want to see worse!

Returning to BC Conservative Party leader Trevor Bolin, and his thoughts on the situation, it’s not surprising then to hear him say:

This Government has the ability to actually make lives better for everyday British Columbians, not just tell us it’s better. They have had the time to do, and failed us all”,

Talking as though he was already in campaign mode for the next provincial election, he continued; “The actions the government should take -- to enhance our resources, reduce taxes, scrap the ICBC monopoly, and ensure that businesses create jobs, and families flourish -- is not being done. The BC Conservatives understand the unique needs of British Columbians, and the changes that need to be made to truly enhance your lives”.

One of Horgan’s concluding remark yesterday was that, “BC can once again be a place of hope and opportunity – a stronger province, for everyone.”

My own local Kamloops South Thompson MLA, Todd Stone, didn’t see that happening however. After hearing the Throne Speech his only thoughts were that it was, “A vacuous Throne Speech from an NDP government out of ideas and out of (your) money”

And referring to what was happening outside the legislature, he went on the say, “On a day when hundreds are bullied and made to fear for their safety by protesters, while entering and exiting B.C.’s Legislature, John Horgan hides in his office. Gutless.”

It doesn’t seem we have much to be optimistic about following yesterdays Throne Speech ... and I doubt we will, when Finance Minister Carole James present her new budget in a week from now.


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