VICTORIA – Yesterday’s Throne Speech outlining the John Horgan government’s agenda for this legislative session was a bold change of direction from previous BC Liberal governments, CUPE BC general vice presidents Michelle Waite and Karen Ranalletta said today.
Waite, who represented CUPE at the Legislature yesterday, said that the NDP’s legislative agenda begins the hard work of turning the province around after 16 years of BC Liberal governments working primarily for the wealthy and well-connected rather than the rest of us.
“It felt like right from the beginning, the throne speech was about acknowledging real people who’ve experienced tragedy both at work and in life and including their names, on equal footing with the traditional list of dignitaries who had passed away over the past year,” said Waite. “There was an overarching theme about doing the right thing for those that need it the most. It is about raising the floor and not the roof, which in the end is good for all of us. I left feeling good about being a British Columbian!”
Attending the Throne Speech as an officer of the BC Federation of Labour, Ranalletta said she was also inspired by the inclusion of “average” British Columbians alongside more prominent citizens.
“I was gratified and reassured that the throne speech was inclusive of all British Columbians,” said Ranalletta. “It stayed true to Premier John Horgan’s election campaign mantra of putting people first. I was also very impressed that the Speech didn’t shy away from the word “worker” and highlighted the labour code review and improvements to employment standards as a top priority, along with a commitment to making B.C. the safest place to work in Canada.”
The Speech from the Throne is the traditional kick-off to a new Legislative session, and lays out in broad terms the government’s agenda. Next week’s Budget (the BC NDP government’s first full budget) will provide much more detail on the implantation of key election campaign commitments like affordable quality child care, K-12 and advanced education funding, and transportation and transit investments. CUPE BC will have full coverage and analysis of the budget next week.