B.C.’s parliament building, Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)

B.C.’s parliament building, Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)

ZYTARUK: Votes come at a premium price. Time to pay the tab

Promises are rained upon the voting public much like confetti being blasted from the maw of a cannon, or particles of ash spewn from an erupting volcano

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So let it be written…

Promises, promises.

During an election campaign, promises are rained upon the voting public much like confetti being blasted from the maw of a cannon, or particles of ash spewn from an erupting volcano.

This latest provincial election was no different.

All sides made some big claims. But the only promises that matter now are those made by the winners. It looks like the NDP has a fine majority, so now it’s time for our government-elect to pay the tab for the votes it received.

The BC NDP must now build a hospital in Cloverdale, like they promised. It will include a “state of the art” cancer treatment centre, like they promised.

They must also launch a second medical school at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, like they promised.

The government-elect must build the entire Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion, like they promised.

Fleetwood Park Secondary and Clayton Heights secondary must get 500 more seats each, to eliminate the portables at the schools, and a museum dedicated to BC.’s South Asian history must be built in Surrey.

Like they promised.

Old Yale Road elementary students must receive $125,000 in provincial funding for a new accessible playground. Same goes for students of Maple Green elementary school, like they promised.

The BC NDP must introduce and pass accessibility legislation for people who live with a disability, in the first legislative session, like they promised.

The BC NDP government-elect must also help families with a $1,000 recovery benefit – $500 for individuals – and improve health care by hiring 7,000 frontline workers for long-term care, make good on a renters’ rebate of up to $400 a year, freeze rents to the end of 2021 and then permanently cap them to the rate of inflation, create 18,000 jobs building infrastructure like the Surrey-Langley Skytrain, cut ICBC rates by $400, provide free transit for children under 12, provide free contraception, eliminate multiple-bed rooms in health authority-owned care facilities for seniors, provide free COVID-19 vaccines once they become available, and expand the BC Access Grant by as much as $4,000 per year to help students pay for tuition and textbooks.

Like they promised.

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They must also invest $2.3 billion “to fix long-term care and build hospitals,” make available two million doses of flu vaccine this fall and 45,000 high-dose flu immunizations to all long-term care and assisted living residents, rebate COVID-19 pandemic profits made by ICBC directly back to drivers, and expand on $10-a-day childcare. Like they promised.

And 171,000 British Columbians earning minimum wage must receive a raise from $14.60 to $15.20 on June 1, 2021, and tie subsequent increases to inflation. Like they promised.

Oh, I could go on and on and on, like the politicians did.

But you get the picture.

As Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wisely pointed out, “A ‘no’ does not hide anything, but a ‘yes’ very easily becomes a deception.”

It’s now up to the BC NDP to make sure all those great promises – all those ‘yesses’ spread throughout the land like delightful confetti during the election campaign – aren’t just fluff.

So let it be done.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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