B.C. Premier John Horgan elaborates on the NDP’s Throne Speech in the legislature on Tuesday. (Kristyn Anthony photo)

B.C. Premier John Horgan elaborates on the NDP’s Throne Speech in the legislature on Tuesday. (Kristyn Anthony photo)

Throne speech puts B.C. on a path to make life better and more affordable

B.C. Premier John Horgan on the plan he believes will make life better for people in B.C.

British Columbians have made their priorities clear. People are frustrated after years of rising living costs, dwindling services, and neglect by the previous government. They expect this government to find solutions to the problems that have made life more difficult for people in B.C. Our government is working for you and taking action to give people relief from excessive fees and rising costs to help make life better, and to make sure people have the opportunity to succeed.

This week’s speech from the throne outlined a clear path to make life better for people in B.C. Our government announced historic investments in housing and childcare, and significant steps to make life more affordable, create more opportunity for people, and build a brighter future for B.C.

After years of government failing to act on the housing crisis, access to affordable, safe and secure housing has become the top concern for people in B.C. To tackle the housing crisis, our government will begin to make the single largest investment in housing in B.C. history, including investments in social housing, student housing, seniors housing, Indigenous housing and affordable rentals for middle-income families.

We also announced that our forthcoming Budget will take swift and broad-ranging action to reign in skyrocketing house prices, including significant new measures to address the effect of speculation on real estate prices and a crackdown on tax fraud and money laundering in B.C.’s real estate market.

For too long, families have struggled to find safe, quality child care they can afford. Parents wait months and years on waiting lists, some never finding child care, and those who do pay tens of thousands of dollars per year per child. This year B.C. will turn the corner on childcare. It will take time, but we have committed to the most substantial investment childcare in B.C.’s history to make sure families have access to the quality childcare they need. Because we know when we invest in child care everyone benefits.

We’re focused on building a strong, sustainable and innovative economy that works for people. The old government gave tax cuts to the wealthy at the top and left everyone else working harder, but falling further behind. That’s not right.

It’s time to create good-paying jobs in every corner of the province and make BC a leader in the innovative, low-carbon economy of the future. We will expand markets abroad and attract investment to strengthen natural resources industries like energy, mining and forestry, while we support small business, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, innovation and the job-creating tech sector.

But creating opportunities for people takes more than a strong economy alone. We also need to make sure everyone has access to the services they count on. That means providing better health care so patients have quick access the quality care they need, making schools safer and providing a better learning environment for our kids, and investing in public safety for safer communities every part of the province.

This week’s throne speech outlined a clear path to improve services and make life better and more affordable for people, and those commitments will be front and centre in next week’s budget.

We’re optimistic about the future and a better life with more opportunity for people in B.C. We’re working for you to make that happen.

–John Horgan is Premier of British Columbia.