B.C.’s budget leaves middle class behind, NDP leader says

Critical emails came in fast and furious Tuesday afternoon after the budget was released, slamming it for this reason or that.

Reaction to BC Budget 2016

SURREY — It seems there’s something for everybody not to like in B.C.’s budget 2016.

Its ink hardly dry, critical emails came in fast and furious Tuesday afternoon after the budget was released, slamming it for this reason or that.

“The middle class was left behind today,” New Democrat leader John Horgan said.

The governing Liberals, on the contrary, were of course quite chuffed that they managed to balance the province’s budget.

“We’ve been following a prudent plan that includes a focus on paying down our direct operating debt, which is projected to be at its lowest point since 1984-85 if we stay on course,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong. “A reduction in the operating debt means almost $500 million that would have gone to interest payments can instead be invested in priority programs for British Columbians.”

Highlights of Budget 2016 include a $3.1 billion investment in transportation infrastructure including highway upgrades and transit infrastructure, $2.9 billion for major health care projects that include a new centre for mental health and addictions, $2.5 billion for post-secondary schools, and $1.7 billion to “maintain, replace, renovate, expand and seismically upgrade” schools for students in kindergarten through Grade 12.

As for the critics, MoveUP president David Black said the budget “fails to make even basic investments to expand public transportation throughout the province.” CUPE BC President Paul Faoro said people are suffering “and only a few are sharing the prosperity generated by the economy,” and BC Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker gave it a fail. “The projected increase in funding is just another shell game that fails to account for increases in student enrollment and rising costs.”

Sue Hammell, NDP MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, slammed the budget for not addressed the problem of shadow flipping in the housing market.

“They have done nothing to address the market that’s flying out of control for the ordinary people of British Columbia,” Hammell said.

“It focusses on making sure people who are able to get by continue to get by,” she said of the budget. “Meanwhile regular people can’t pay their bills. They’re struggling.”


Just Posted

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Surrey school trustees want to see reliance on portables reduced by 50% in five years

Board votes unanimously to request a meeting with Minister of Education

UPDATE: Police seeking witnesses to fatal Surrey hit-and-run

A pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on Highway 10 near 152nd Street

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

‘Old-Timers’ bring competitive hockey to North Delta rink

A group of 600 athletes ages 50 and older meet weekly to compete in Canada’s winter sport

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

UPDATE: Police ID man in suspicious Richmond death

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read