"The former government spent 16 years balancing the books by eroding public services, and this government has clearly signalled a new approach that reflects a number of priorities the BCGE/NUPGEU has identified in our budget submissions." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Burnaby (12 Sept. 2017) — The first throne speech of the NDP government in B.C. is a transitional roadmap that steers the province toward a progressive future,says the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
B.C. government commits to improving public services
"The throne speech strikes a positive tone and commits the government to focus on the real needs of our citizens," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President . "The former government spent 16 years balancing the books by eroding public services, and this government has clearly signalled a new approach that reflects a number of priorities the BCGEU/NUPGE has identified in our budget submissions."
Smith is pleased with throne speech commitments to improve services for seniors' care, child care, poverty reduction and making life more affordable for working families and renters.
"B.C. is one of the richest provinces, with some of the highest rates of poverty and child poverty in Canada," Smith says. "The government's commitment to initiate a poverty reduction plan and take the first steps toward affordable child care is a refreshing and much needed change from the past."
Relationship with First Nations a high priority
Improving the government's relationship with First Nations and reforming the province's out-dated electoral system are key commitments to establish progressive democratic reform.
"In supporting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the B.C. government is signaling a historic shift in the relationship between government and First Nations peoples," says Smith. "Electoral reform and campaign finance reform is also long overdue. It's time British Columbia joined other progressive democracies and controlled the influence of big money on government."
The BCGEU/NUPGE is British Columbia's fastest-growing union, with over 70,000 members working in direct government service, the broader public sector and service sectors in British Columbia.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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