B.C. leading country economically

Strong fiscal quarter means investment for British Columbians

As many of you have read in the news, British Columbia is leading the country in economic growth and has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

To ensure this trend continues, the B.C. Liberal government strives to support a robust and diverse economy and controlled government spending as the foundation for a strong B.C.

Because we have been persistent in controlling government spending, we can focus on the things that matter most to you and the people you love.

This month, I was pleased to see the first-quarter update that forecasted a surplus of $1.9 billion for 2016/17. As a result, the planned four per cent increase in MSP premiums have been cancelled and the Premium Assistance Program has been enhanced.

In addition, we have the flexibility to plan new investments in areas such as:

$500 million for new programs benefitting housing affordability;

$400 million for the BC Prosperity Fund as a legacy for future generations; and

$1 billion for paying down the provincial operating debt even faster, saving an additional $138 million in lower debt servicing costs over the fiscal plan.

None of these opportunities to invest happened by accident. British Columbians have achieved this together because we have a plan and because of your hard work.

It is important that we do not waiver from our plan. We are surrounded by economic bad news –next door in Alberta, across the country, and around the world.

The decisions made by government aren’t always easy. But it’s about more than just today.

It’s about the province we want to leave for our children and grandchildren. It’s about giving them the freedom to make their own choices when it’s their turn to lead.

I’ve witnessed how hard the people of Cariboo-Chilcotin work to look after their families, and as your MLA, I will work just as hard to ensure your voice is at the table when decisions need to be made for our province’s future.

Contact MLA Donna Barnett’s constituency office at 250-395-3916, or e-mail donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca