B.C. Liberal Throne Speeches: A History Of Broken Promises

As the B.C. Liberals prepare to introduce their post-election Throne Speech, it’s important to remember B.C. Liberal government’s record when it comes to actually living up to their promises. In the Throne Speech after the 2005 election, the B.C. Liberals set out “Five Great Goals for a Golden Decade” and then broke their word on each:

B.C. Liberal Goal:  “To make B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent.”

What They’ve Done:

  • Continued to break their own class size requirements, with more than 11,000 classrooms overcrowded.
  • Cut library funding and literacy programs.
  • Piled costs onto post-secondary students to the point where B.C. students now have the second-highest debt loads in the country, and since the election made the situation even worse by slashing student aid.

B.C. Liberal Goal: “To lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness.”

What They’ve Done:

  • Threatened to cut grants for thousands of youth sports associations in the upcoming budget. 
  • Refused to provide funding to implement new requirements on physical education in our schools.
  • Politicized the handling of grants for playgrounds, doling out money for playgrounds in schools that didn’t need it, leaving resource-poor schools with none.

B.C. Liberal Goal:  “To build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, special needs, children at risk and seniors.”

What They’ve Done:

  • Broken their 2001 promise to build 5,000 long-term care beds.
  • Closed long term care beds and forcibly moved seniors to new facilities, after having told them they could stay.
  • Put children at risk by ignoring the Hughes Report and failing to take concrete action as B.C. has had the worst rate of child poverty in the country for five straight years.

B.C. Liberal Goal: “To lead the world in sustainable environmental management, with the best air and water quality, and the best fisheries management, bar none.”

What They’ve Done:

  • Created a gold-rush mentality on our rivers and streams with little regard for the long-term environmental concerns.
  • Cut park rangers as part of an 11-per-cent cut to funding for the ministry of environment.
  • Refused to take action on species at risk.
  • Opened the door to moving toward off-shore oil and gas exploration and heavy oil tanker traffic.
  • Ignored the serious environmental damage caused by open-net fish farming, and now essentially washed their hands of fisheries altogether.

B.C. Liberal Goal: “To create more jobs per capita than anywhere else in Canada.”

What They’ve Done:

  • Sat by while B.C. led Canada in the worst rate of full-time job losses over the past 12 months.
  • Took B.C.’s economy to second-worst in Canada last year.
  • Played spectator as the forest industry, the major industry in much of rural B.C., spiralled into crisis, leaving more than 50 mills idled and tens of thousands of workers without jobs.