Worst UBCM conference for sitting government in decades

VANCOUVER (September 27, 2019) – MLA Todd Stone, the BC Liberal Municipal Affairs & Housing Critic, is applauding the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for standing their ground and demanding proper consultation and respect from the provincial government, making John Horgan and the NDP experience the worst UBCM conference for a sitting government in decades.

“Mayors and councillors from across the province took a stand and clearly said that they are fed up with empty promises and NDP arrogance,” said Stone. “The resolutions passed at UBCM this week show that local governments want John Horgan and the NDP to stop ignoring the concerns of local communities. It is time for them to start listening to local governments.”

On Tuesday, cities and towns from across the province called on John Horgan and the NDP to ensure that principles of mutual respect, consultation and cooperation be adhered to going forward. UBCM also passed motions demanding the province consult with local governments on future modular housing projects, take action to combat the vaping epidemic, and ensure wrap-around supports for supportive housing after embarrassing NDP failures in Maple Ridge and Nanaimo.

“On Wednesday, over 250 logging trucks came to UBCM in a passionate attempt by those hurt by NDP inaction on the forestry crisis to finally be heard by Premier Horgan,” added Stone. “Not listening has become a defining aspect of this NDP government. Whether it is overlooking local governments for caribou consultation, snubbing mayors requesting opt-outs from the Speculation Tax, or ignoring mayors and councillors over modular housing concerns, it is clear the NDP simply don’t listen to voices on the ground.”

John Horgan had an opportunity to address the concerns raised by the Official Opposition and B.C. communities at UBCM this morning but offered nothing more than jokes and platitudes. Despite a unanimously passed UBCM motion asking the NDP to reinstate the $25-million Horgan raided from the Rural Dividend Fund, his speech ignored those pleas and doubled down on his decision to deprive those communities of important funds.

Horgan also falsely claimed he was responsible for creating over 22,000 new affordable housing units when in fact the NDP have opened just over 2,300. At this rate, it will take the NDP over 100 years to meet their 114,000 unit promise.

“John Horgan’s speech was little more than a stand-up comedy routine with buzzwords and niceties mixed in and no substance or concrete action on the issues facing our local communities,” concluded Stone. “British Columbians and their local governments have clearly been let down by NDP inaction on key issues such as housing, homelessness, and mental health and addictions supports. The provincial government must properly consult and listen to important local voices when it comes to decision-making in our communities. British Columbians all deserve better from John Horgan and the NDP.”

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