MLA Doug Clovechok has been appointed to the Select Standing Committee of Finance and Government Services.
While he was in the area between sessions he spoke to the Review about his new position and other ongoing provincial issues.
As a member of the committee Clovechok will work with members from both sides of the house conducting public consultations on the next provincial budget as well as reviewing and making recommendations on B.C.’s statutory offices.
“What I’m really excited about, I’m not a financial guy by background, but I’ve had a lot of people experience in my life, I’m looking forward to meeting with people and having good conversations with them and listening to presentations and hopefully working with colleagues on both sides of the house to put forward a budget that makes sense for British Columbians,” Clovechok said.
2019 Budget concerns
“I always like to start with a positive, because that is just who I am,” Clovechok said. “There are things inside that budget that I am very supportive of. One is the extra dollars that are being given to foster parents to support what they do. I know there are lots of foster parents in the Columbia River-Revelstoke system and I know some personally. It’s a hard job. It’s a rewarding job. I am very pleased to see that they have thrown some money that way.”
Clovechok said he was also excited to see the $74 million over three years for mental health and addiction services for children, youth and young adults.
“Those are two things that really stood out for me as really positive in this budget. Unfortunately it goes downhill from there,” Clovechok said.
He is disappointed with the deficits.
“Usually when you are touting that your economy in your province is in really, really good shape, you don’t usually go out and bear those kind of dollars,” he said. “My concern is, is there going to be enough revenue to displace that deficit when they are forecasting a downturn in the resource sector.”
Clovechok has been meeting with seniors in the Columbia Valley to hear their concerns about travelling within the region.
“One of the issues that I’ve been working on, I lose sleep over this one, is the trans boundary health care issue where patients are being refused access to Alberta,” Clovechok said.
“My quest here is, I have heard from constituents up and down the riding that this transportation, especially around our seniors, has gotten to a critical mass, and frankly, the government has got to step in and do something about this.”
When we spoke he had meetings planned with the Minister of Transportation to further discuss the issue.