Calling for change in a cents-less budget

While it is politicians who essentially run this country and this province, making decisions based on their somewhat seemingly limited knowledge for the people who live here, I have a hard time with politics in general.

I am sure it is not easy to wear those shoes and I appreciate you can’t please everyone. I also understand that budgets are a huge pressure and it doesn’t matter what political party is in, the finance minister undoubtedly has a hard job.

However, with that said, I must agree with the response by the opposition to the recently submitted B.C. budget. Our MLA Doug Donaldson spoke in the House this past week about this and I found his speech both informative and enlightening. I am also very proud to see someone we know standing up for communities and people in the North. He brings our community faces such as Ali Howard and her incredible swim or more recently Bill Nannings’ health care struggles to the House and he seems to be always willing to listen to people in his constituency. No, he did not put me up to this, nor is he paying me, but after watching his speeches on YouTube this weekend I thought the least I could do was take a minute to applaud someone for standing up for the North and for people in general in regards to this recent budget.

Now I do understand that there is only so much money and it has to be spread accordingly, the fact that this recent budget is holding almost $1 billion in unallocated revenues, is mind blowing to say the least. When the economy in the North has been struggling for so long and there are ways to increase and create more jobs, I hope that all politicians and people in power take the opportunity to help create a better world.

Yet, the following cutbacks unfortunately, seem to do the exact opposite. In this year’s proposed budget, there was a $3 million cut to provincial operations which deals with things such as analysis, administration and stewardship of crown resources and water regulation. Regional Operations that are responsible for research, protection, monitoring, reporting related to forests, range, water, soil, biodiversity, species at risk, mining and fish resources and much more, was cut by $5 million. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation which is responsible for helping make sure First Nations and the government can negotiate a workable agreement with things such as the Northern Transmission line, cut by almost $1 million.

Then there is a $21 million cut to the Forest Stewardship resources that are responsible for things such as silviculture, forest health and forest inventory. The Ministry of Agriculture is facing a 25 per cent cut to the Agriculture Land Commission. The Ministry of Energy, a $4 million loss to electricity and alternative energy! Last but not least, a $34 million cut in student aid and no funding to invest in training and post secondary educational institutions at the college level.

Our children are our future, what does that loss of funding say to them? I could go on an on in regards to this recent budget, but I thought it was more important to shed light on a few scary budget cuts in hopes that people will stand together and let their voice be heard.

We need to invest in our futures, invest in our economy and invest in our children. Sometimes, I think we need to challenge government priorities. So with that said, I applaud those that stand up for a better life for those in the Northwest and this country in general and one day, maybe, just maybe our beautiful communities will be thriving once again.