VICTORIA (August 16, 2019) – With a recent report projecting an imminent economic slowdown in British Columbia, BC Liberal Finance Co-Critics Shirley Bond and Tracy Redies are once again sounding the alarm about the state of B.C.’s economy – and what could be yet to come if John Horgan and the NDP don’t correct their course.
“Our BC Liberal caucus has long been warning about the damaging effects that NDP policies are having on our provincial economy – but these warnings have fallen on deaf ears,” says Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “John Horgan and the NDP have no plans to grow the economy and no jobs plan, instead relying solely on hardworking taxpayers and 19 new or increased taxes to fill government coffers. Two years ago the NDP inherited the country’s strongest economy, but there are storm clouds on the horizon and John Horgan needs to pay attention.”
A recent report by Central 1 Credit Union predicts economic growth will drop to 2.2 per cent – the slowest pace since 2015. It identifies a struggling forestry sector and cooling housing market as drivers of this slowdown, while major capital projects continue to bolster the economy.
“The forestry sector – the economic backbone of rural British Columbia – is in crisis. But for months, John Horgan and his Forests Minister have chosen to pretend this problem doesn’t exist,” continues Bond. “We’re seeing a similar situation with the housing market, which is nearing a standstill. Ultimately, British Columbians are the ones paying the price – and they’re going to keep paying unless John Horgan takes action to provide relief.”
Residential housing starts are expected to drop by four per cent this year and a whopping 15 per cent next year. Construction is limited to pre-sold homes, which will dry up in coming years as B.C.’s housing market continues to slow.
“Ironically, the one thing keeping our economy afloat is capital projects like Site C, LNG, and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion – projects that John Horgan and the NDP vehemently opposed,” says Redies, MLA for Surrey-White Rock. “It just goes to show John Horgan has no plans for the economy beyond raising taxes and spending more of British Columbians’ hard-earned money. The economy is an afterthought to John Horgan and the NDP.”