Last month, my colleagues and I from across B.C. went back to Victoria to hear the current government unveil their 2020 Budget. Though there are some initiatives that will undoubtedly be beneficial to some, I was disheartened to see it did not address many of the issues that British Columbians in my riding are facing.
People who live above Hope are feeling ignored and unsupported. Cuts to the ministry budgets means fewer dollars for what is already offered, and certainly nothing additional.
Here in the Ashcroft, area businesses are looking for support and ways to diversify our community. This area is still reeling from floods and wildfires over the last two years. Businesses that have barely survived are looking for support from government that will take away red tape and help their bottom line.
There is no credible plan for stimulating the economy or encouraging businesses and companies to set up shop in British Columbia. Instead, as more and more taxes are piled on, life in many ways is getting more unaffordable.
I was dismayed to see no plans to fulfill a promise to fully reinstate the Rural Dividend Fund or a long-term plan for disenfranchised British Columbians still reeling from the forestry crisis.
I would have loved to hear some mention of programs and actions underway to ensure the survival and abundance of B.C.’s Steelhead stock. It would have been great to see some funding allocated to tourism initiatives.
We all know that this region is blessed with an abundance of natural splendour that begs to be discovered. This also extends to the Fraser Canyon as an under-mentioned hidden jewel that needs focus, attention, and funding.
People in this area don’t ask for much. They’re stoic under pressure, but I am still dismayed to see this budget does not provide peace of mind.
I will continue to advocate on your behalf, and promote this incredible region that we call home.