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

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

‘A monumental step’: Surrey Food Bank finds new, much larger home in Newton

The charity is expected to make the move next summer

UPDATED: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read