B.C. Lt. Gov. Janet Austin presents the NDP government’s speech from the throne at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 12, 2019. (Hansard TV)

Opponents, business group pan John Horgan’s throne speech

Pitch on federally regulated cellphone costs questioned

Premier John Horgan is showing a lack of direction with a throne speech that highlighted his desire to reduce cellphone rates and do something about scalpers snapping up live event tickets, B.C. opposition leaders say.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson noted that it was 20 minutes into the speech before the word “jobs” was mentioned.

“The premier himself admitted that people in this province are working two and three jobs and still can’t get ahead,” Wilkinson said after the speech was read to open the spring session of the B.C. legislature.

“There was nothing of any substance in this throne speech about how to make life better for British Columbians except a few token things like cellphone bills, which are purely federal jurisdiction, and an attempt to reduce the cost of concert tickets.

“This is a government that’s spent all its money already, that is running out of gas, and we’re gravely concerned because there are a lot of economic storm clouds on the horizon throughout the world.”

That view was echoed by Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of B.C.

“Where is the future economic growth necessary to sustain families and communities across the province going to come from?” D’Avignon said. “As economic activity continues to shift away from frothy housing markets and debt-financed consumption, we need to redouble efforts to build ‘tradeable’ industries that can generate export earnings and support good jobs.”

RELATED: Throne speech promises action on money laundering

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver called the speech “a bit of a laundry list” of initiatives. He said he is pleased the NDP government is carrying on with its “Clean BC” climate and new technology plan, which the Greens used their balance of power to have a strong hand in.

“Although ironically, immediately following that, they start talking about LNG,” Weaver said. “Of course we’ve made it very clear to government that we have no intention of supporting any legislation this session that would enable the generational sellout embodied in LNG.”

One legislative change that will be needed is to fulfill Horgan’s promise to repeal the LNG income tax imposed by the Christy Clark government. But the LNG Canada project at Kitimat is years away from production of liquefied natural gas that would generate income.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Warming centre overshadows cannabis store at Monday council session

Council also heard about disk golf, city park camping and an RDKB housing survey

Entrepreneurs faced ‘sink or swim’ decision after flood

Grand Forks businesses left with little direction a year after the flood

Christina Lake clean-up a success

A wheelchair, cigarette butts and old tires filled the back of a truck headed to the dump

Katie Yuris receives BC Hockey Coach of the Year

Katie Yuris, coach of West Kootenay Wildcats, honoured with the Ernie Gare Coach of the Year Award

Council rejects 70th Street option for supportive housing project

BC Housing may now reconsider building the project at 2nd and Central

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read