An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
LET’S HOPE THE B.C. budget Finance Minister Carole James unveils Tuesday has more substance than last week’s Throne Speech.
Traditionally, the Throne Speech provides only a general indication of the government’s priorities but this one was unusually vapid.
Much of it involved bragging about the NDP’s record and criticizing the previous Liberal government. The rest included, ironically, quite a few mentions of reconciliation, plus promises to do something about cellphone rates and ticket bots, and take “an all of B.C. approach” to transportation.
“Our future depends on the choices we make,” the speech said. Now there’s a revelation.
So let’s talk about some of the choices the government should cover off in its new budget.
Let’s see something serious in connection with the Rural Dividend Fund that was diverted towards the forest industry when mills started being shut down. How will the resulting shortfall to communities for other projects be corrected?
How about something being done to fill gaps in cellphone service that the government promises it’s working on?
Will anything ever become of Premier John Horgan’s commitment to wrestling gasoline prices to the ground?
When will the contract be awarded for widening of the highway through Chase?
Since the Throne Speech was all about past glories, will the budget include any new, concrete, measures on climate change?
Then, of course, there’s reconciliation. To give credit where due, the government has been working on that file but the events of the past couple of weeks suggest it’s not enough.
All those items would be naturals for the budget, but because the Throne Speech was so devoid of substance we simply don’t know if they’ll show up.
This budget could be full of pleasant surprises, for all we know, or disappointment.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.