MLA pans throne speech

OUR LOCAL MLA didn’t think much of the premier’s throne speech Oct 3.

Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin says the speech spent most of its words trying to give Christy Clark credit for some of the positive things the provincial government has done in the past.

“I thought, you know, a large part of the government throne speech was to highlight the premier’s attempt to bring in a jobs plan,” he said.

“All that was in place long before she became premier and she did not have any impact on any of them.”

Austin said Clark missed an important northern resource in her speech.

“There was no mention of forestry. It used to be the Number 1 resource for our government,” said Austin.

“That really surprises me. We’ve got to figure out how to make better use of our logs rather than sending them overseas as raw logs.”

Austin was hoping to see some new direction that was different from former premier Gordon Campbell, but said it’s pretty much the same thing with Clark.

The government claims there’s not much room to move fiscally, but it found $560 million that came out of taxpayers’ pockets to put a new roof on BC Place, which could’ve gone to other areas in need of financing, he said.

And while Clark did mention mining, mines are affected by commodity market prices and don’t open because of anything she did.

“It’s not like she can snap her fingers and 10 mines open, otherwise we would see new mines up and running and we haven’t,” said Austin, adding that mines open because communities want to to invest and give social licence to have them.

He would’ve liked to see Clark’s job plan have specific targets and show what the government can do rather than relying on investments from overseas.

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