Mr. Fletcher would have us believe that, until now, rural B.C. has been a vibrant and independent sector of the B.C. economy (Conqest of rural B.C. begins to take shape, Dec. 6). Sixteen years of Liberal rule has clearly demonstrated otherwise, as the hinterland of this province has been “raped and pillaged”, leaving the beginnings of an empty husk.
Shirley Ackland, mayor of Port McNeill opined: “I would challenge this [Liberal] government to really open its eyes and look at what’s going on in our small community. You can’t live in the north island if there are no jobs here.”
Fort Nelson Mayor Bill Streeper said the rural strategy of the BC Liberals failed to recognize the prolonged downturn in the oil and gas industry, which is causing people to leave town to look for work.
Former NDP MLA Bob Simpson said, “The jobs aren’t here. That’s what our struggle is”
Mr. Fletcher does little to address any of this, choosing instead to remonstrate over some hypothetical “empire-building” efforts by the Green-NDP “alliance”. A succession of governments have done little to discourage people’s tendency to move to the Lower Mainland, rather than central or northern B.C. That is a political and economy fact.