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Liberals slam provincial budget

Kevin Falcon

Liberal leader Kevin Falcon says Tuesday’s provincial budget has record-high spending, while not delivering results for British Columbians.

“Despite what David Eby and the NDP may argue, Budget 2023 offers very little for everyday people,” said BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon. “This budget may come with glossy new packaging, loud fanfare, many uses of the word ‘record’ and a shiny new premier, but it isn’t fooling anyone. This is the same old NDP rhetoric and the same promised NDP priorities that have left our province in concurrent crises and with some of the worst results in the country.”

He slammed the government for the highest housing costs in North America and, he said, the NDP is no longer promising 114,000 housing units over ten years. The budget is providing an additional $4.2 billion in operating and capital funding over three years – the largest three-year housing investment in B.C. history – for more homes for people who rent, Indigenous people and middle-income families, along with new actions to tackle homelessness.

Falcon said “people are literally dying because they cannot access basic healthcare, and emergency rooms are shutting down in every corner of the province — and there’s nothing to suggest more funding will lead to better results.”

Almost $6.4 billion in new funding over three years will go into public health care and help people find and stay connected to the care they need. This includes funding to improve cancer care, build up B.C.’s health-care workforce with new training seats, and create better supports for health-care workers and family doctors. This also includes $1 billion in new funding to expand mental-health and addictions services.

Falcon also said there is nothing in the budget to support victims of crime. He was also critical of the budget for not containing any new school construction plans.

“People are exhausted, anxious about the future, and tired of waiting for this government to deliver on the vision they promised six years ago,” Peter Milobar, finance critic. “Budget 2023 is pessimistic and uninspiring. It provides no reassurance to British Columbians that this government has finally figured out how to address the problems they face every day. From housing, to affordability, to health care, and crime, never before has a government spent so much money to achieve so little. And according to the NDP’s own budget documents and forecasts — today is as good as it gets. It only gets worse from here.”

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