Business, labour respond to B.C. budget

A new art school in Vancouver is not the right priority for a province losing skilled industrial workers, says building trade union rep

Phil Venoit

Business, labour and other organizations gathered in Victoria for the budget presentation Tuesday. A sampling of their responses:

• Phil Venoit of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said building trades unions are looking for more emphasis on trades training. A new art school in Vancouver is not the right priority for a province that is trying to ramp up major industrial development, he said.

B.C. has lost many industrial workers to Alberta, and they are generally paid substantially more there so it is difficult to lure them back home, Venoit said.

• Phil Hochstein, president of the Independent Contractors and Business Association, said the “boring” budget is a sign of stability.

“When they’re investing in significantly in infrastructure to create skills training, that’s what government needs to do,” Hochstein said. “The private sector will create the jobs.”

• Bonnie Pearson of the Hospital Employees’ Union said the government’s emphasis on keeping health care spending growth down to little more than two per cent a year is being felt at the service level.

“As it stands, there is a workload crisis in long-term care that has produced some of the most dangerous working conditions in the province in terms of injuries,” Pearson said.

• Mike Klassen, B.C. director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, gave the 2014 budget a letter grade of B-minus for its lack of measures for small business, but an A for not adding any new taxes and balancing the books.

 

Just Posted

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

Most Read