The fanfare of the government’s throne speech on Tuesday produced the usual frantic energy at the B.C. legislature.
But as the red carpet was rolled back on the steps leading into the grand building, the resulting media coverage was somewhat muted. After all, there wasn’t much to report.
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from the speech was the noticeable softening of the B.C. Liberals’ trumpeting of LNG as the saviour of the province. The speech noted how LNG “could” create 100,000 jobs and eliminate the province’s debt. Predicting the future can come back to haunt, it seems.
On the other hand, the items left out of the throne speech are likely more worthy of discussion, as some of our local MLAs (and opposition party members) point out in our Page A7 story.
It’s been a tough few years for residents across the province, but until the budget is tabled on Feb. 17, the public won’t have a clear idea about where an anticipated budget surplus will be spent. The surplus is commendable, but it’s come at the expense of painful spending cuts across various ministries.
Let’s hope some of that surplus is used to help the poorest in the province and for social services. The expiry of a tax hike on the province’s richest is a bit of a head-scratcher as well, as it equates to $230 million annually, according to the B.C. NDP.
Perhaps the red carpet was rolled out for a non-event this week, where the only real promises were towards the status quo. And as most of us know: the status quo isn’t working too well when it comes to job creation and affordability in this province.