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MLA Minute: Falling into B.C.’s debt trap

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok on debt
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Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok. Bulletin file.

Doug Clovechok

MLA, Columbia River-Revelstoke

Debt is like any other trap - easy enough to fall into, but hard to escape. The B.C. NDP are now trapped by their own overspending, and British Columbians are going to pay the price for years to come.

Since my last MLA Minute, I’ve heard from many of you. My constituents are paying attention to what’s happening with provincial finances, and the sky-rocketing debt is a real concern. Well, it should be. We are now shouldering unprecedented debt without the results that we were promised.

There is an urgent financial crisis burning in the background of this province. It is difficult not to sound alarmist, but the numbers speak for themselves. Now more than ever, good people in this province are realizing how the mounting debt is affecting them, their families, their businesses, and their future.

If you know the stress of having your credit cards racked up to the max, you know that your dreams are put on hold if you’re only able to make the minimum payments. For some, it means not taking that vacation or buying that new car, but for so many others, credit is being used to meet basic needs like groceries. When you have crippling debt, it becomes suffocating.

B.C.’s finances are in this same position right now. An independent report from the Parliament Budget Officer is warning that B.C. is on an increasingly unsustainable fiscal path under David Eby and the NDP. The report projects that B.C. will again become a have-not province and will again be receiving equalization payments. Further, the report finds that B.C. and Quebec are predicted to experience the slowest growth in labour productivity in the country.

It took 125 years to acquire $44 billion in debt in this province up until 2017. Since then, the NDP has doubled it in just seven years. The NDP are on a spending spree that promises everything but has delivered very little.

A significant contributor to this is the 36% expansion of the B.C. public sector. Ask yourself this question: Have the services you receive from this government increased by 36 per cent over the last seven years? Clearly, the answer is “No!” Yet there are 137,193 new positions under the NDP, at an additional cost of $17.1 billion annually. And in the last 5 months, the NDP has quietly given their senior staff raises equivalent to a 17% increase. Your money is paying for more staff, not better results.

As the provincial debt continues to increase, where are the 114,000 new homes that you were promised? Where is the affordability you were promised? Where are the improvements to the health care system? Where are the $10-a-day childcare spaces? The list of expensive broken promises goes on and on.

This current David Eby-led NDP government needs to stop the bleeding and get off this merry-go-round of irresponsible spending that’s failing to yield any meaningful results. Our kids and our grandkids don’t deserve to inherit this debt. Millions of dollars will be spent on interest for this debt. That’s your money, and it’s not being used to benefit you and your family.

They say that the world has become too complex for simple answers. I disagree. Here in B.C. it is very clear that this province cannot afford this NDP government.

I want to hear from you about any concerns you have about this or any other issue. I read every email I receive. Please reach out to me at doug.clovechok.mla@leg.bc.ca or call my office in Kimberley at (250) 432-2300 or Revelstoke at (250) 805-0323.

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