The MLA for Cariboo North says there wasn’t much in the provincial budget to help seniors or people who are vulnerable.
Coralee Oakes says she is extremely worried for seniors that are trying to get by on old age pensions…
“How will this budget help people address some of the everyday challenges that they’re facing ? Everything from housing, rent, gas, groceries, heating. I don’t know if people have opened their heating bills lately, but it just seems everything is going up.”
Oakes says she would have liked to have seen far more investment into recovery beds and supports for people with mental health and addiction issues, including some beds in the north.
She says there were some things that she liked in the budget.
“There was investments in supporting early learning and those critically important head start programs. There is a new aboriginal head start program, which I think is fantastic. I am also a strong supporter of any type of investment that goes towards domestic violence and sexualized violence, and there was an increase in the budget in that to support centre in British Columbia. I think that’s critically important and I certainly hope Quesnel benefits.”
Oakes does question however, how revenue is going to be created.
“It can’t always be around taxation. What are the tools that the government will be implementing to help support small business, or to help small business in general ? We continue to hear from the small business sector they are continuing to struggle around the pandemic. And troubling for our community is they are projecting a one billion dollar cut in forestry, so what does that mean for a community like ours, or a region like ours ?”
Oakes says while some investment has been announced for communities and people to transition out of specific sectors such as forestry, she questions how this is going to help a 30 year old that has just spent millions of dollars on a processor or another piece of very expensive equipment.
She wants to know how that person is going to pay their mortgage, or support their family.