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MLA’S CORNER: A B.C. United policy wish list for 2024

Hope for a safe and happy new year for all the residents of our beautiful home in Cariboo-Chilcotin
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)

The dawn of a new year is a time to reflect on the year that was and look forward to the year ahead. In the spirit of the new year, I hope that politicians of all stripes can put down their swords and focus on solving the key issues facing British Columbia.

While there are several major challenges here are four of the areas I hope to see progress made in 2024:

1. Better cancer care

The cancer care system in British Columbia is broken. Increasing wait times are forcing people to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to access lifesaving treatment outside the country. Recent stories have come to light of people being directed toward medically assisted suicide as they may not be able to get the treatment they need in time.

The government’s band-aid plan to send cancer patients to the U.S. is failing, sending less than a quarter of the patients they promised to help (including zero from Interior Health).

B.C. used to be a world leader in cancer care. In 2024 we need to return to this standard; lives depend on it.

2. Cheaper fuel & heating

British Columbia has officially become the most unaffordable province in the country, over half of British Columbians are $200 or less away from not being able to pay their bills at the end of the month. Yet, as provincial premiers of all political stripes call for equal carbon tax relief on home heating fuel, David Eby continues to leave British Columbians out in the cold with plans instead to double the carbon tax.

Our BC United team has proposed a common sense plan to eliminate the provincial fuel tax, which will save drivers up to $30 every time they fill their tanks. We will also eliminate the carbon tax on home heating fuels, heating your home is not a choice, especially in northern and rural parts of the province.

3. More support for seniors

B.C. has the highest senior poverty rate in the country, and devastatingly we have seen low-income seniors living in their cars because they cannot afford to put a roof over their heads. In the coming year, it is crucial to provide essential support to seniors through increased incomes and a reduction in the skyrocketing cost of living.

4. Improved response to wildfires

This past season was the deadliest wildfire season in the history of our province. The Cariboo and British Columbia cannot afford another season of outdated wildfire response. That’s why our BC United team has announced a bold strategy for reforming British Columbia’s wildfire preparedness response, and recovery.

Most importantly, I hope for a safe and happy new year for all the residents of our beautiful home in Cariboo-Chilcotin

Our BC United team spent 2023 unveiling bold policies to help improve life for British Columbians, hopefully in 2024 the government will decide to listen.