Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall is disappointed that the 2011 BC Liberal Budget offers no change, and instead is the very same budget delivered under Gordon Campbell earlier this year. Former Minister of Finance, Colin Hansen, defined the budget as status quo when he presented it, as he assumed that the new Premier would add changes to it. Far from any changes, the budget is the same, showing the Christy Clark fails to offer any real difference from her predecessor.
“The people of Nelson-Creston want to know why this government continues to leave school districts in the lurch with unfunded costs that force them to impact their budgets in places no one wants, the classroom,” said Mungall. “The people of Nelson-Creston want to know where MSP increases generating an extra $147 million last year are going, because we’re still without a surgeon at Kootenay Lake Hospital. We still have 2,000 orphaned patients in the Creston Valley, and we still have overworked public health nurses covering regions the size of some European countries.”
As the newly appointed critic of Advanced Education, Mungall noted that the budget fails to address the rising costs of tuition fees and student debt for British Columbian families. On these issues, Mungall talked about the BCNDP plan to “get the debt off of students back. A hundred million in students grants — that’s what we propose. Thirty million to eliminate interest.” By rolling back corporate tax cuts, corporations, who are now paying the province less in tax than students pay in tuition, will begin to contribute their fair share into developing the labour force they need to operate.
With a new premier who rode in on the slogan of change, this budget shows that Christy Clark is in truth more of the same. Most importantly, stated Mungall, “the reality is that the status quo is not creating opportunity. It is not creating growth.”
Adrian Dix and the BCNDP Opposition Caucus continue to stand up for British Columbians and put forward bold ideas that will build a better BC for the 21st century.