VICTORIA— A New Democrat government will build a new relationship with local governments in British Columbia, says B.C. New Democrat leader John Horgan.
“Instead of listening, learning and embracing partnership with local governments, our premier continues to deny, deflect and download costs,” said Horgan.
Horgan made the remarks during a speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ annual convention. He pledged to end the divisive politics of the Christy Clark Liberals, and head a government that works with local leaders to take the province forward.
“I want to restore people’s faith in the ability of government to make life better, to make change happen, to invest in our future, to come to the table with new ideas, [and] to make our economy work for all of us, not just a fortunate few,” said Horgan.
Horgan said that a New Democrat government will share local government priorities like investment in transportation infrastructure across the province, and pledged to four-lane Highway 1 from Kamloops all the way to the Alberta border.
Horgan also spoke about his plan to work with local governments to build needed transportation infrastructure in the Lower Mainland by increasing the province’s capital funding for transportation and transit improvements from one-third to 40 per cent.
“That’s how we’ll break the B.C. Liberal roadblock on new transportation infrastructure and get us moving forward,” said Horgan.
The B.C. Liberals have long picked fights with local leaders, delaying progress and distracting from solutions. Christy Clark’s TransLink minister recently told local governments to “suck it up” and come up with more transit funding, while her education minister has repeatedly tried to blame local school boards for school closures caused by B.C. Liberal underfunding.
“You won’t hear me or my ministers telling local governments to “suck it up,” and we won’t come to the table to pick a fight,” said Horgan.
“My B.C. is one where government no longer divides communities and people for political advantage. In our B.C., we want to bring British Columbians back together.”