B.C. NDP leader delivers televised address
B.C. New Democratic Party Leader Carole James took to the airwaves Monday, just two days before a pair of provincial by-elections.
She gave taxpayers her version of an economic plan for the province in response to a similar move by Premier Gordon Campbell last week.
In what was largely a rebuttal to Cambell's 10-point plan, James attacked the Premier for not dealing with the provincial gas tax and for not doing enough to help struggling families and the homeless.
Since 2001, James said homelessness in the province has risen by 400 per cent.
The provincial government can and must do more to help ordinary families through tough economic times, James said.
The steps that the NDP would take, are based on the following fundamentals.
- Middle class and small business tax relief.
- Skills training and education.
- Community and green infrastructure
- A revitalized forest industry.
- Getting rid of government waste .
In her speech, James said she supports Campbell's plan to accelerate previously announced middle class tax cuts. However, she said the provincial government isn't doing anything to deal with the gas tax, the one that is hitting British Columbian's the hardest, according to James.
In her alternative plan, the NDP leader is promising to roll back the gas tax, and bring forward what she is calling a real climate action plan that would put $570 million back into the pockets of British Columbians and the provincial economy.
Her action plan would include:
1. A green infrastructure plan that builds transit and helps average families retrofit their homes
2. End cuts to college budgets and bring back student grants.
3. Accelerate plans to fix schools that are deemed to be most vulnerable to earthquakes
4. Build 2,400 affordable housing units, followed by 1,200 units per year until every British Columbian has a roof over their heads.
5. Take action to curtail log exports and promote forest industry diversification.
6. Take action to stop wasteful spending.