VANCOUVER – Christy Clark's jobs plan lacks clear job targets, leaves vital investments in people out of the equation and fails to offer anything for many sectors such as forestry, tourism and the green economy, said B.C. New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix today.
“The Premier’s plan, if it can be called such, remains mostly an exercise in repackaging existing initiatives and profiling herself, rather than a coherent vision with concrete steps that bring hope to British Columbians,” said Dix. “This plan offers nothing in the way of training and education so people can pursue their aspirations and dreams. It fails to ensure that B.C. resources create jobs here in B.C., especially in the forestry sector, which the Liberals seem to have abandoned entirely.
“We were looking for something that would provide hope for British Columbians,” said Dix. “Instead, we got another example of the Premier’s self-promotion without substance.
“The government's own labour market report points out that close to 80 per cent of jobs in the future will require post-secondary training or education. Industry leaders in sectors such as forestry to bio tech rank a skills shortage as their top of mind concern during meetings with me.
“We all want the economy to succeed, but this is extremely disappointing. Entire regions, such as Vancouver Island and the Southern Interior seem to be absent from Ms. Clark’s thinking. There is nothing to encourage local purchasing which would create growth and jobs in local economies. ”
Dix welcomed Clark’s commitment of resources to repair the self-inflicted damage caused by gutting resource ministry staffing, calling it an admission of failure. Lack of staff has caused delays in approvals and permitting. He also welcomed investments in infrastructure that support exports and other economic activity.
Dix pointed out that Clark failed to address the problems created by her failed effort to sell the HST and the lengthy timelines to wind it down and revert to the PST/GST system.
“Christy Clark promised a plan that would be ‘different from anything British Columbia has seen' but we have seen most of this before,” said Dix. “We have a multitude of boards, councils and panels, many of which are just new names for existing bodies.”
The Liberal record over 10 years has been one of greater inequality, in which middle class incomes have stagnated and lower income earners have fallen further and further behind. It’s translated into a deep sense of insecurity and uncertainty among many British Columbians.