Childcare and housing may be the most well-received topics from today’s throne speech in the lower mainland, but what about in the north?
Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad believes the speech was largely a bust for northern BC residents, citing the lack of direction on economic drivers for the region like forestry and mining.
He describes the speech as worrisome.
“We want to hear the things that are affecting the people in our area of the province, housing is one component and government services is another component,” explains Rustad.
“But really, forestry, mining, agriculture, the things that are the backbone of the economy and the jobs in our region, it was more than half of the throne speech before those were even mentioned.”
BC Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon did ring in the third session of the 41st Parliament of BC talking about how to make life more affordable for all British Columbians.
Rustad acknowledged this but believes more should have been said on the issues directly affecting northern BC.
“When you look at people that are trying to find a way in their life, they’re trying to make sure that life is affordable, and to make sure that they’re able to support their family,” he says.
“The specifics we need for our area certainly were lacking in this speech.”
The message, whether it was intended or not, Rustad says he took away from the speech is one of uncertainty and that the government does not have the backs of people working in northern industries.
Overall, Rustad says he thinks the speech was mostly about providing support to people in the lower mainland, not for people in the rural areas of BC.