Monday’s Speech from the Throne commits the province to provide more affordable child care, hire new long-term care staff, provide more mental health care supports, and tackle inequality and discrimination as part of its plan to address growing inequalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we begin this legislative session, your government urges you not to lose sight of what has made our province so resilient,” said Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin. “A year ago, British Columbians would stand on their front lawns and balconies at seven o’clock in the evening to bang pots and pans. It is this same spirit of common purpose that we must summon again to get us safely through to the end of the pandemic.”
Interim Liberal leader Shirley Bond, however, said the speech offers little help or hope for people and struggling small businesses, with no plan to deal with economic recovery, unemployment, or the opioid crisis.
“The time for ‘trust me’ has passed for John Horgan,” Bond said. “While British Columbians are facing rising case counts and the spread of COVID-19 variants, worried about their health and economic well-being, John Horgan and the NDP have failed to put forward a real plan,” said Interim Leader of the Official Opposition Shirley Bond. “Small businesses are struggling, non-profits are worried about their futures, parents are concerned for their kids, and British Columbia has nearly 40,000 fewer full-time jobs than before the pandemic. John Horgan’s inability to get supports to those who need them most and his failure to put forward any economic recovery plan is deeply concerning.”
She also criticized the NDP for calling an election during the pandemic.
“John Horgan says he called a snap election in the middle of a pandemic so B.C. could have a clear path forward. Today it seems he still can’t find a path forward, even with a majority government,” added Bond. “After failing to get COVID relief to families, botching supports for small businesses, and not providing a budget on time, it’s clear that while today’s speech called for British Columbians to do more, the NDP won’t commit to keeping old promises and doing more themselves.”