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HomeNewsStikine MLA says throne speech recognises Northern B.C. needs

Stikine MLA says throne speech recognises Northern B.C. needs

Yesterday’s (Monday) throne speech covered a lot of topics, mainly ones that affect and improve the north, according to Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen.

The throne speech included pledges to invest into rural healthcare, introduce better natural resource management, and improve transportation and communication in the north.

Cullen told My Bulkley Lakes Now these announcements are welcome and will be acted on quite soon as the new premiere is in a hurry.

“I’m pretty excited about the focus that northern B.C. and rural B.C. have gotten in the throne speech and in the government’s plans.”

Cullen said that it’s been some years since the northern part of the province has seen this kind of focus from the government.

He added that some of the recent investments include the new hospital in Terrace, increased work on northern highways, improvements to internet and cellular service, and that there’s even more to come.

“I think there’s a greater and growing appreciation for how much the north and rural B.C. contributes to the province.”

Across the north there’s been a healthcare struggle, Cullen said that this was a major topic in the throne speech.

“The healthcare crisis has been decades in the making. We’ve been losing family doctors, nurses, and paramedics.”

Cullen said Paramedics were treated awfully by previous governments, having dealt with not being paid well and being discredited for what they do.

“We’ve invested an enormous amount into healthcare. We saw in the pandemic how critical all these services were for us.”

He added that the province has inked a new deal with family doctors and that there’s been major pushes to open new training positions across healthcare.

“In order to get us back into the right track, we’ve had to invest a lot, put a lot more people into the system so that we know at the other end, more people can get a family doctor.”

Cullen said that the government is also improving the permitting process for getting more houses built so more families can get housing.

“We know that there’s been delays that have built up over years and very frustrating for those that are looking to build houses. We have been building and permitting more houses than ever before in our province’s history.”

Part of the challenge Cullen described is the increase of people moving to our province due to the demand for more workers across the province.

He said that the measures mentioned around improved communication infrastructure and natural resource management should have been implemented sooner and could have aided in preventing the closure of the mills in Houston and Chetwynd along with the 300 workers laid off in Prince George.

“The silver lining in this is we’re in a very strong job market right now and that a lot of those workers are being picked up by other companies and other industries right away, and some of those in local jobs as well.”

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