VICTORIA – In the first five weeks of the B.C. legislature’s spring session, New Democrat MLAs challenged the B.C. Liberals for making life less affordable for British Columbians, having the worst job creation record in the country, and for putting their own political interests ahead of the interests of the people of our province.
We also brought forward important concerns from people all over the province to Victoria and forced the government to take action.
Here are just some of the issues we have fought for in the legislature:
- The Silver Alert Act: We fought for a program that would alert the public that a person who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of cognitive impairment is missing, similar to the Amber Alert system. A Silver Alert program is being called for by police, search and rescue units and the families like that of missing Coquitlam man Shin Noh.
- A specialized health clinic for pediatric cancer survivors: As families and childhood cancer survivors looked on, New Democrats presented a motion to establish and fully fund a specialized health clinic for pediatric cancer survivors. There is currently no formal program or coordination in the health system for the long-term care of British Columbians who survived childhood cancer. A specialized multi-disciplinary health clinic in B.C. would provide childhood cancer survivors with the comprehensive level of care they require.
- Legislative reform: New Democrats introduced legislation that would strengthen the committee system of the legislature and make fall sessions mandatory. With these changes in place, British Columbians would never again see a legislature that only sat for a total of 36 days like it did in 2013.
- Independent inquiry into the Babine sawmill explosion: New Democrats stood with the grieving families and injured workers from Burns Lake and Prince George in calling for an independent inquiry, both for accountability and justice, and to ensure the safety of other sawmill workers in the province.
- Fighting ferry cuts: New Democrats presented evidence from across the province that B.C. Liberal cuts to ferry services, which were made without any economic impact studies, will have a significant impact on people living in coastal communities, B.C.’s $13-billion tourism industry, and on our provincial economy.
- Shuttle bus for Highway 16: New Democrats called repeatedly for the Liberals to listen to the recommendations of the Missing Women’s Inquiry and bring in a shuttle bus along the Highway of Tears to help keep vulnerable women safe. Instead of implementing this key recommendation, the Liberals have done the bare minimum to begin implementing the recommendations from the inquiry, and have failed to appoint a replacement for Steven Point who stepped down from his role in implementing recommendations nearly a year ago.
- New Democrats were proud to see the government finally announce that young adults with Type 1 diabetes will be eligible for insulin pump coverage. This measure was first proposed by New Democrat leader Adrian Dix in 2011.
While New Democrats were pushing for positive change, we also vigorously held the B.C. Liberals accountable for their failures:
- Christy Clark said “we didn’t raise taxes” but New Democrats exposed $4.4 billion in tax increases over the next three years that will hit the average B.C. family with at least $900 out of their pockets.
- The B.C. Liberals have failed to deliver on the jobs they promised. Just last month B.C. lost 10,400 jobs while the premier continues to say British Columbians should just trust her.
- New Democrats stood up for students and families that were used as pawns by the B.C. Liberal government in their scheme to provoke a full-scale strike at B.C. schools.
In the remaining months of this legislative session, New Democrats will continue to bring the voices of people from across the province to Victoria – making sure that serving the people of British Columbia is the focus of the legislature this spring.