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B.C. legislature returns with throne speech, budget coming next week

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2020-02-11
John Horgan, Premier of BC, at the Premiers’ Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 27, 2019.   REUTERS/Candace Elliott © Thomson Reuters John Horgan, Premier of BC, at the Premiers’ Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Candace Elliott

VICTORIA — The legislature resumes today in British Columbia with a throne speech, one week before the NDP's next budget at roughly the midway point of the minority government's mandate.

In a recent interview, Premier John Horgan said the NDP will be pointing to its economic achievements while making life more affordable for families during this session of the legislature.

He said the elimination of Medical Service Plan premiums, more child care options and raises in the minimum wage are among his government's achievements, but more needs to be done to improve affordability.

He specifically cited gas prices and cellphone charges as issues the government often hears about, and promises they will be addressed in the throne speech.

The government has already announced details of upcoming legislation to lower insurance premiums by about 20 per cent, or an average of $400 per driver.

Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said the NDP has been downplaying a poor record of addressing major issues in B.C., including job losses in the forestry sector.

Interim Green Leader Adam Olsen said the two-member caucus would like to see B.C. shift its economic focus to innovation technologies and away from traditional resource industries.

Olsen said the Greens plan to maintain an agreement that keeps the minority NDP government in power until the next provincial election in October 2021.

The Greens are holding a leadership contest in June to replace Andrew Weaver, who is sitting in the legislature as an Independent after announcing he won't seek re-election next year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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