Coralee Oakes is sounding the alarm on a lot of items in Tuesday’s provincial budget, but she was somewhat optimistic about one item.
It revolved around the 100 million dollars announced for anchor tourist attractions and trails.
“It is my desire to make sure that Barkerville and Cottonwood House are included as an anchor attraction for British Columbia, and I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone in Cariboo North to send the Premier a message, and to send the government a message, of how critically important Barkerville Historic site is.”
Oakes says there were some surprising cuts in Tuesday’s provincial budget, including to Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.
“That ministry plays such a critical role when you look at our region. You look at, for example, forest service roads and the critical importance of making sure we’re investing in bridges and culverts and all of those pieces. Our communities really rely on these types of infrastructure, so seeing a reduction in that budget is troubling.”
Oakes says there was also a reduction in the health authorities.
“They were being cut by 1.1 billion in funding, and of course we have to go through and look at what those details are, but in the middle of a pandemic so I’m not sure how cutting that much in funding, what those impacts will be in our communities.”
Oakes also expressed some concerns for the public sector when it comes to the announcement of new campsites and moving childcare into our schools.
“We have to recognize all of our private sector, and think of all of our private sector campsites that are trying to stay open. Should taxpayer dollars be competing against the public sector ? You know the budget talked about moving childcare into our schools. What does that mean for the private childcare companies ? How do they fit into this model that the government is announcing ?”
Oakes says when it comes to economic recovering post pandemic, it is going to require a vibrant public sector.