FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the 2019 Budget being released, Dan Davies MLA for Peace River North shares his concerns for what he does not see in the Budget and the impact from the lack of information on the Caribou Recovery Plan.
“There is lots to talk about and a lot will be talked about in the coming weeks as we debate in the legislature. The things that really stand out for me and very impactful for the folks in the Northeast and Peace country is complete lack of mention on job creation, growing the economy or revenue from the resource sector which is expected to decline by 30 percent over the next several years” said Davies
“We know B.C. struggles to attract capital, it is hard to get permitted in this Province, we see time and time again. How hard it is to build in this Province and instead of the government putting things into the Budget to help attract this investment, they are basically rolling over and allowing this to happen and this will have huge consequences to the Northeast and the economy as we are a resource-based economy” shared Davies.
Davies goes on to express,”The life of this Budget over the next three years is going to be a cost to every British Columbian, $1200 dollars and $2500 dollars per family over the next three years, there is a direct impact coming out of your pocket and my pocket starting this year,”
“We hear affordability this entire Budget and I cannot see it, I cannot see affordability for British Columbians from this Budget at all, if anything it is the exact opposite, it’s going to cost the middle class and the average person of BC way more over the next couple of years. Their plan is backwards and most of that money is coming down on the taxpayer,” shares Davies
Concerned for the people of the Region, Davies goes on to say, “When you start looking at how this will affect us, increase carbon tax, employee health tax, impacting business people, property tax, Municipalities pass that down and a decline in the resource sector, that is a lot of red flags for the people in the Northeast,”
“This is what worries me, we are already seeing companies moving out of the Province and we are going to see small businesses are going to be impacted more and small businesses are the backbone of our economy and when we start taxing small businesses to the point they can’t make ends meet they will go somewhere else or they will shut down,” said Davies
“That leads to the cycle of more unemployment and more issues for the economy, it’s a worrisome budget for me it’s not what is in the budget, its what isn’t in the Budget and those are growing the economy, the other side of the balance sheet,” said Davies
In reference to the LNG being mentioned in the Budget, Davies expresses his concern, “Our party when we were in Government we worked on it for years, it is good to see it is in the Budget but let’s look at how things are rolling out. The Coastal link pipeline, there is no real pressure from Government to help resolve the issues of getting that put through. We are hopeful it will as this whole project relies upon this. I am hopeful the LNBG project will go but that’s just one project.”
As the conversation took a turn towards Caribou Recovery and the recent question period at the legislature, Davie spoke more on the frustration and the impacts of not knowing.
“Caribou Recovery, what does this look like for us, we don’t know, we don’t know. We are being kept in the dark, we the general public, myself included,” said Davies, “What impacts is that going to have on the resource sector, tourism sector and recreation users?” asked Davies, “We start to get worried when any use gets restricted of backcountry and BC’s land.”
Davies goes on to share he just had a meeting on the Land Resource Management Plan, Davies says,”Again all of these compounding factors are coming to play here Class A parks, the TLE, the Site C land, agreements, what are the impacts going to be if you start adding these up on our resource sector. This is really concerning when you start to add these all up together and what this will look like and what it will do to our socio-economic area of the Northeast.”
“It’s hugely devastating this directly impacts people as this threatens good-paying careers and jobs. There is not much of an appetite for the resource sector if we don’t have that we are going to go broke,” said Davies
To read more about the question period on Caribou Recovery; CLICK HERE
To read more about the 2019 Budget; CLICK HERE