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Northern MLAs stay in shadow cabinet as BC Liberal leader shuffles critic roles

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond

With speculation rife of a fall election in B.C., Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has made some adjustments to his shadow cabinet. Northern MLAs are have been handed several critic roles.

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, one of the most senior members of Wilkinson’s caucus, takes on the finance critic’s role.

“While COVID-19 is presenting economic challenges in jurisdictions all around the world, we can’t overlook the fact that in our province we are facing a budget deficit of $12.4 billion with no sign of an economic recovery strategy or a job creation plan” said Bond. ”I’m pleased to remain in my role as Finance Critic and will continue to press the government for the answers that British Columbians deserve.”

Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, who earlier this week stepped down from the police reform committee, will continue co-critic of public safety and Solicitor General.

“As a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with many years spent right here in this region, I am pleased to continue my role in helping to make public safety a priority during the pandemic,” he said.

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes will focus on the emergency preparedness portion of the Public Safety and Solicitor General file.

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad will continue in his role as critic for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“Forestry employs directly and indirectly 140,000 people in B.C., plus it helps support 120 or more communities and countless families across the province,” said Rustad. “Under the NDP, B.C.’s forest sector has lurched from one crisis to another and they need to be held accountable for their destructive policies.”

Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier has been named as the new co-critic for transportation and infrastructure.

“In particular here in northern B.C., we know the importance of having safe highways and adequate infrastructure and I look forward to holding Transportation Minister Claire Trevena to account and ensuring that she is working for all of British Columbia,” Bernier said. “We have already seen costs for capital projects skyrocket under her leadership, largely because of discriminatory Community Benefits Agreements.”

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross remains the critic for liquefied natural gas, resource opportunities, and responsible development.

“Our team will continue to push the government to make decisions that help improve people’s lives as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “I will also continue to advocate on a daily basis for people living right here in Skeena, where responsible resource development — including LNG — is essential for the success and prosperity of our region.”

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