VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan and the New Democrats have been working hard in the legislature this spring delivering on commitments to make life better for British Columbians.
“From the very start of our mandate, we’ve been hard at work to fulfil our promises and make life easier for people,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’ve taken some big steps forward on issues people care about, including housing, health care, and accessible and affordable child care, while growing a strong and sustainable economy.”
“We’ve made real changes for people, but there’s no doubt we have more to do. The mess left by the BC Liberal government wasn’t created overnight and it will take time to fix those problems. But I’m committed to keeping the interests of people at the heart of our government. We will work every day to make life better.”
Highlights of what New Democrats have done since forming government:
Making life more affordable
- Cut MSP premiums in half this year and will eliminate them completely in 2020, saving families up to $1800 per year.
- Enacted a 30-point plan to tackle the housing crisis which includes a $6-billion investment to create housing, measures to cool speculation that is pricing homes out of reach for families, closing fixed-term lease and geographic rent increase loopholes while creating new laws to protect renters.
- Eliminated bridge tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, saving commuters up to $1,500 per year.
- Invested a record $1 billion in child care, creating new spaces and saving parents up to $350 per month.
- Froze ferry fares on all major routes, reduced fares on smaller routes and fully restored the 100% seniors’ discount fare.
Improving the services you count on
- Made significant investments for our kindergarten-to-grade 12 kids, accelerated seismic upgrades and the building of new schools, and created new funding for school playgrounds.
- Invested in reducing medical waitlists, improving care for seniors and access to primary care, and announced the elimination of PharmaCare deductibles for families with annual net incomes below $30,000 starting in January 2019.
- Improved access to justice, and increased funding for women fleeing abuse and for kids looking for an alternate path away from gangs.
- Created a new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions that has been hard at work on its province-wide strategy to tackle the opioid crisis.
Good jobs and a sustainable economy
- Increased access to trades training and opportunities for apprenticeships on public sector construction projects.
- Announced B.C.’s first Innovation Commissioner and the Emerging Economy Task Force, and are helping to grow the high-tech sector with new funding for tech-related post-secondary spaces, securing $950 million in federal funding to establish the B.C. digital supercluster, and supporting emerging tech like STEMCELL Technologies. Amazon recently announced 3,000 new tech jobs in B.C., proving our reputation as a technology innovation hub.
- Launched the Fair Wages Commission to get B.C. to a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
- Reduced the small business corporate income tax rate to 2 per cent and reduced the PST on electricity for businesses.
- Launched the Buy BC, Grow BC and Feed BC initiatives to market B.C. products locally and overseas.
- Fought for forestry jobs in Washington D.C. and worked to grow the wood innovation sector by ensuring that the use of public timber generates good jobs in forest communities.
Making government work for people
- Put an end to big money in B.C. politics and put people back at the heart of government decision-making.
- Announced a referendum that will allow people to have a say in whether we modernize our elections to make every vote count.
- Made reconciliation with Indigenous peoples a priority by introducing a set of draft principles to guide the work of provincial government employees.
- Brought back the Human Rights Commission, dissolved by the former B.C. Liberal government.