Newsletter: New Democrat Caucus Connection – September 13, 2011

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New Democrat Official Opposition - Connection

In the News

Tuesday September 13, 2011

Making advanced education more affordable

Inline ImageThis week Adrian Dix launched a tour of post-secondary institutions, announcing the New Democrats' proposal to re-establish the needs-based student grant program at Camosun College.

He joined advanced education critic Michelle Mungall, MLAs Carole James and Rob Fleming, and Camosun College students and faculty in a call to restore the non-repayable grant program.

The grant will make advanced education more affordable and will help spur economic growth and jobs for B.C. Ten years of tuition increases and the elimination of grants by the Liberals have made pursuing higher education increasingly difficult, especially for students from low- and middle-income households.

Quarterly report shows lack of Liberal plan

Last week’s release of the government’sfirst quarterly report shows the Liberals put all their eggs in the HST basket, and clearly have no plan to address the important issues facing the province now that the tax is gone.

Finance critic Bruce Ralston said that instead of talking about how they plan to create jobs, the Liberals used the report as an opportunity to express sour grapes about the result of the referendum and to continue to mislead the public.

During the HST debate, the Liberal mantra was that a return to the PST would cost the province $3 billion, but with the release of the quarterly report, the Liberals’ new mantra seems to be $700 million less. The finance minister further misleads British Columbians by comparing the effects of returning to the PST to the 12-per-cent HST even though they promised to lower the HST to 10 per cent.

Ralston said the Liberals undermine confidence by refusing to tell the truth about the benefits of the PST. He noted that Helmut Pastrick, chief economist with Central 1 Credit Union, said “Reverting back to the PST/GST system does boost overall growth a little bit in [2013, 2014 and 2015] compared to the HST scenario, mainly because of a pickup in consumer spending and residential construction.”

And as to the projected benefits of the HST, one day after the report was released, Statistics Canada released job numbers that show B.C. is continuing to fall behind. B.C.'s unemployment rate increased by 0.2 per cent from July to August to 7.5 per cent, the third highest increase in the country and 0.2 per cent above the national average. From July to August, B.C. lost 12,500 full-time jobs, but only picked up half that amount in part-time jobs.

The employment numbers also shatter Liberal claims that the HST would create over 100,000 jobs. From August 2010 (one month after the HST was introduced) to August 2011, B.C. lost 21,800 full-time jobs and gained only 21,500 part-time jobs.

Adrian speaks at the Surrey Board of Trade

Inline ImageAdrian spoke to a full house at the Surrey Board of Trade about the economy and his commitment to reducing inequality in B.C.

He emphasized the importance of getting the fundamentals right, especially in the area of education and training, and the enormous competitive advantage our public healthcare system offers in attracting investment and jobs to B.C.

Upcoming events

·Wednesday, Sept. 14 – Adrian will be speaking at the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs 43rd annual assembly in Whistler. MLA Scott Fraser will also be attending.

·Thursday, Sept. 15 –Adrian and MLAs Raj Chouhan, Harry Bains, Jagrup Brar, Mable Elmore and Jenny Kwan will be meeting with The Sunset Indo-Canadian Seniors Society.

· Saturday, Sept. 17– Adrian will be participating as a harvest judge at the Moon Festival Harvest Fair at Slocan Park.

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Read New Democrat News Releases

In This Issue

·Making advanced education more affordable

·Quarterly report shows lack of Liberal plan

·Adrian speaks at the Surrey Board of Trade

·Upcoming events

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In Quotes

” Dix has been a calm and steady leader who has made few mistakes.”

– Michael Smyth, The Province, Sept.9, 2011

“I can think of a few groups who could consider themselves outside [Clark's] families-first umbrella. One might be families of university students, struggling to pay their high tuition fees and no doubt worrying about the average $27,000 debt people accumulate over their years of study.”

– Rod Mickleburgh, Sept.9, 2011, Globe and Mail

“It's hard to imagine how Premier Christy Clark is going to be able to roll out a meaningful jobs program in a climate where there doesn't seem to be any money.”

– Bill Good, Cutting Edge, CKNW, Sept.9, 2011

“The premier's office sends up trial balloons full of gas and not much else, only to pop them as soon as the winds change.”

– Pete McMartin, Sept.8, 2011, Vancouver Sun

“Clark's comments in announcing that she wouldn't call an election reinforce the perception, right or wrong, that she isn't serious enough about the premier's job.”

— Paul Willcocks, Trail Daily Times, Sept.7, 2011

“NDP leader Adrian Dix is acting on a promise he made during the NDP leadership campaign last winter. He wants to reinstate the needs-based student grants for students in BC. These were eliminated seven years ago and he says, as a result, student debt loads are spiralling.”

– Jeff Davies, CBC, Sept.12, 2011

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