OPINION: B.C. government is investing in an affordable future for everyone

Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton (BC Liberal) explains how the provincial government is helping make B.C. more affordable.

Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton (second from right) is joined by Alpha Aviation Chairman Fred Kaiser

People in Delta work hard. Our job in government is twofold: invest in the services that people depend on, and to leave as much money as possible where it will do you the most good – in your pocket.

That’s why we have a plan to put British Columbians first. It starts with a strong, growing, and diverse economy, saying yes to economic development and the jobs it creates, and controlling government spending.

That’s how we can afford to look after the people we love.

Let’s start with the basics. Thanks to hardworking British Columbians, we’ve had four straight balanced budgets, with a fifth coming next spring. We’re on track to eliminate our operating debt, which is important, because it means we’re not borrowing (and then paying interest) to pay for basic services. That’s why we’re able to maintain the lowest income taxes in Canada.

Is it working? The numbers speak for themselves. British Columbia is first in Canada in economic growth, first in job creation, and has the lowest unemployment.

Because we’ve worked so hard to build a solid foundation, we’re in a position to make investments that put British Columbians first.

We introduced a variety of measures to keep housing within the reach of the middle class, such as eliminating the property transfer tax for new construction under $750,000. In just over six months, over 5,000 British Columbians have taken advantage, saving thousands of dollars. To protect consumers, we ended self-regulation of the real estate industry. And to keep the market from becoming distorted by foreign demand, we introduced an additional 15 per cent transfer tax on purchases by non-Canadians.

We are also helping single parent families secure employment by paying for up to 12 months of work training, continued financial support while you are undergoing that training, and child care and travel costs during that training.

We’ve also made record investments in health, education, and infrastructure projects, like the George Massey Tunnel replacement project, which will ease congestion across the Fraser River, and the Site C dam, which will provide clean, affordable energy for 100 years – and has already created 1,500 jobs.

And despite the cost pressures of making more investments in clean power, with our 10 year rates plan, British Columbia enjoys the third lowest residential electricity rates in North America.

The NDP’s proposal is to say no to jobs and projects across British Columbia while at the same time proposing to spend more tax dollars at every turn. Reckless spending combined with no economic growth starts a vicious cycle of spending more, then taxing more, sliding further and further into debt. That does not help family affordability.

Instead, let’s keep working to grow the economy – and make investments that will benefit all of us.

Scott Hamilton is the BC Liberal MLA for Delta North and Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

 

Just Posted

RCMP ask for help locating missing woman

Sheyna McNabb was last seen near King George and 96th Ave. in Surrey

Campaign pledge prompts Delta libraries reminder of parents, infant health programs

Mayoral candidate George Harvie promised to restore the BabyDaze program if elected

Pedestrian rushed to hospital after being hit by car in Surrey

Friday crash at 88th Avenue and 152nd Street is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians

Two women injured in late-night assault outside White Rock restaurant

‘All he had to do was turn around and leave’ - victim

Delta police warn public of Tsawwassen rental scam

Would-be renter asked to send a $1,300 deposit to a fraudulent Airbnb account

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read