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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

FURSTENAU – Budget missed historic moment to pair our recovery from COVID-19 with a transformative plan that would ensure a green and just future for BC


This week in the Legislature the NDP tabled their first budget as a majority government.

 

My colleague Adam Olsen and I were grateful for the opportunity to respond to the budget, a budget that we believe has missed an historic moment to pair our recovery from COVID-19 with a transformative plan for this province that would ensure a green and just future for BC.


We had hoped that this government would seize this moment and set our province on a course that our grandchildren would thank us for. Sadly, this is not what was presented to us. 

 

As so many others have expressed, this is essentially a status quo budget after what has been the least status quo year that any of us have experienced in our lifetimes.   

 

What’s our common agenda? What’s the story of where we’re going as a province, and how we're going to get there?  There is no unifying sense of what we’re trying to achieve. 


While we continue to navigate the real and present risk of COVID-19, we must look to the horizon and recognize that growing inequality and accelerating climate change are going to create more upheaval, more suffering, and more loss. 


It’s hard to make difficult choices in response to risks that lie in the future, risks that are not right in front of us.  And yet, as governments and decision makers, this is exactly what is required of us. 



A note about the new travel restrictions that were announced this week

I have been hearing from constituents that the communications from government have not been particularly effective or consistent. What's important is to focus on staying close to home right now.  The COVID variants are creating dire conditions around the world, across Canada, and increasingly here in BC, where hospitals are experiencing a great deal of strain with numbers of COVID patients needing hospitalization.  


The new travel restrictions should be a reminder to all of us to stay home, to minimize our contacts, and to take all the precautions we can to minimize the risks that we, our loved ones, our colleagues, our neighbours, and our community are facing during this third wave.


We are all exhausted from this ongoing health emergency, and so it is a good time to reach out by phone or zoom to someone you care about. 

 

Sonia Furstenau ... is the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Cowichan Valley ... and the Leader of the BC Greens

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