Historic investments in housing and child care are at the heart of the speech from the throne, which focused on making life more affordable, creating more opportunity for people and a brighter future for British Columbia.
“Making life more affordable for people is at the heart of this throne speech, and will be front and centre in next week’s budget,” said Premier John Horgan in the government media release.
“British Columbians have made their priorities clear. People are frustrated after years of rising living costs, dwindling services and neglect by the previous government. Our government will take concrete action to give people relief from excessive fees and rising costs to help make life better and make sure people have the opportunities they need to succeed.”
The throne speech announced the start of the largest investment in affordable housing in this province’s history, including social housing, student housing, seniors housing, Indigenous housing and affordable rentals for middle-income families. Government will also introduce significant new measures to address the effect of speculation on real estate prices and to crack down on tax fraud and money laundering in B.C.’s real estate market.
“I am encouraged to see our shared values represented in today’s Throne Speech,” said B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver Tuesday.
“The focus on housing and child care and early childhood education represent policies that we have heard are top priorities for British Columbians across the province."
“However, we await details in next week’s budget as to how these values will be implemented in government policy," Weaver added.
"British Columbians are facing an affordability crisis and they deserve to see a strong vision and bold action from this government."
Horgan said access to affordable, safe and secure housing is the top concern for people in B.C.
"To tackle the housing crisis head-on, government will make the largest investment in housing in B.C. history and take swift and broad-ranging actions to reign in skyrocketing house prices,” Premier Horgan said.
Government will also make the most substantial investment in child care in B.C.’s history and take the first steps to implement a comprehensive child-care program to reduce costs for families and meet the needs of every family in the province.
“We know when we invest in child care, everyone benefits. Government has also announced today that we will make significant investments to make sure families have access to safe, quality and affordable child care,” Premier Horgan said.
Government reaffirmed its commitment to building a strong, sustainable economy, to create good jobs, expand markets abroad, attract investment and become a leader in the low-carbon economy of the future.
Investments in public services, to make sure they are available, reliable and affordable for everyone, remain a priority for government. Commitments to improve health care, education and public safety in every part of the province were also highlighted in the speech.
Government re-committed to a true partnership with Indigenous peoples based in rights, reconciliation and respect, to implement the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to protect B.C.’s environment and coast, and to take concrete action on climate change.
"While I appreciate the government reiterating its commitment to take steps to meet our climate target, we must get beyond rhetoric," Weaver said.
"Our caucus’ role is to ensure that the days of politicians vowing to take action on climate and then doing nothing must end. Actions, not words, are what are required to meet our responsibility to the next generation. I look forward to working with (Environment and Climate Change Strategy) Minister (George) Heyman to enact a climate action strategy to meet our targets so that we can become leaders in climate action once again.”