RICHMOND (February 20, 2018) – Richmond’s four BC Liberal MLAs are disappointed to see the NDP’s first full Budget does little to address the pressing needs of their constituents.
“The Budget contains vague mentions of upgrades to hospitals, but there was no firm commitment for the new acute care tower at Richmond Hospital that the community has been rallying so hard for,” says Richmond North Centre MLA Teresa Wat. “Last fall in his Estimates debate, the Minister of Health promised to move expeditiously on this project—but so far, we’ve seen no evidence of that.”
The Budget also contained no plan or timeline for replacing the aging and seismically-unsafe George Massey Tunnel.
“The Budget prioritized the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge, which the government notes has five years of life left on it— but the Massey Tunnel is unsafe now,” says Richmond-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal. “When will the 80,000 commuters a day who use this congested stretch of road get some relief? Richmond businesses are already telling us they are losing workers who live outside the city and cannot tolerate the traffic anymore.”
Overall, the Budget missed the mark in terms of meeting a number of commitments the NDP made to the electorate.
“While I was pleased to see an investment in child care, the NDP did not fulfill the promise of $10-a-day daycare they campaigned on,” says Richmond South Centre MLA Linda Reid. “The commitments around affordable housing also fell short. This Budget provides no evidence this government will ever build the 114,000 new affordable housing units they pledged to British Columbians.”
“Before the last election, the NDP made many lavish promises—and now that they’re in power, they realize they can’t deliver,” says Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap. “They are letting down British Columbians on the very issues of affordability they campaigned on, through $5.5 billion in new taxes. This a typical NDP Budget—and you’re going to pay for it.”
The Richmond MLAs vow to hold the NDP government to account for those broken promises, and continue to fight for the priorities of Richmond residents.