Voters across British Columbia will choose a new government on May 12. BCGEU president Darryl Walker says he's already made up his mind. He's voting NDP.
By Darryl Walker
B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE)
We’ve all got an important choice to make on May 12 that will affect the future of our province for several years to come.
The economic downturn is on everyone’s mind. And behind the economic crisis are some serious environmental problems that are quietly multiplying in the absence of real change in the way we live and work.
I’d have to say our provincial government squandered the opportunity in the booming economy to strengthen our skills base, create value-added jobs in resource communities and expand important social services to communities.
What I remember from two terms of Liberal government is year after year of job cuts, underfunding, office closures, programs winding up and community wishes ignored.
Hypocrisy on wages
There was a lot of hot air about tackling climate change, but not much has been done. We have the highest levels of child poverty in Canada. Vulnerable children are at risk, and child protection services still aren’t adequate. Homelessness is on the increase. The minimum wage will soon be the lowest in Canada, yet the Premier took a 54% wage increase.
Laws and regulations that protect our society and environment have been downgraded. Jobs that ensured compliance with employment standards, or protect air, water and species habitat have been eliminated.
Now that we’re heading into tough times it becomes easy for governments to say the economy has tied their hands.
The Liberals’ pre-election budget made cuts in important ministries, and threatened job reductions. I wonder what public services will look like after the election when the real economic bill starts to come in.
Who can we trust?
On May 12 I think we have to ask ourselves, who do we trust to deal with the economic recession? And when the going gets tough who will take steps to protect our jobs, our families, our communities?
Who do we trust to invest in public services? In the last election B.C. voters made sure there was an effective opposition in the Legislature to oppose radical changes in social and economic programs. This time let’s make sure there is an effective government that works on our behalf.
When it comes to who to vote for, I know BCGEU members will make up their own minds. But for me there is a clear choice in this election. I believe we have an opportunity for change and a better future with the New Democratic Party.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE