MLA calls speech ‘smoke and mirrors

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FEBRUARY 14, 2014 12:00 AM

 New markets and investments, skills training, controlling spending, social and practical infrastructure, the opportunity of LNG and ensuring B.C. remains a leader in the modern world.

Those were the key talking points made by the B.C. Liberals in Tuesday’s throne speech.

But local NDP MLA Selina Robinson is calling the government’s plans all “smoke and mirrors” without any real substance.

“I don’t have great confidence this government is going to build these prosperity funds made of LNG-pooping unicorns,” she told the Tri-Cities NOW. “They’re not even real promises. Everything was about, ‘In 10 years we’ll do this, in 10 years we’ll do this,’ but you need to respond to people today. There are people who have jobs today who need to get from point A to point B.”

Robinson said she fears for low-income families in rural areas such as Kitimat, who she says are either being ignored or bullied out of their neighbourhoods with the government’s LNG plans. The situation also reaches into our own backyard, she added.

“They’re using the land sales to balance the budget,” the Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA said, pointing to the developing Burke Mountain area. “Some of those lands are ready to go to market; those should absolutely be sold. But there’s a whole bunch of those parcels that haven’t even been brought up in a neighbourhood plan. Those are going to go up in value in a couple years.”

But Doug Horne, the Liberal MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, called the plans good for today and tomorrow.

“I think it simply emphasizes the policy and points that we put forward in the election about having a strong economy and a secure tomorrow,” Horne told the Tri-Cities NOW. “There’s stuff for today and stuff for 10 years down the road, because I think it’s important to plan for the people now but also for the future of British Columbia.”

Port Moody-Coquitlam Liberal MLA Linda Reimer also spoke in favour of the speech at the legislature on Wednesday, stating the government has a bold plan.

“It’s time to act on these plans, under the premier’s vision and leadership, which will serve our province and our people well into the future,” she said.

“Today, more than ever, we’re focused on growing the economy and bringing prosperity and security to all areas of our province.”

Reimer could not be reached for direct comment.

Horne also voiced his support for LNG, touting economic and environmental benefits. “In China it replaces the burning of coal there,” Horne said. “A switch to natural gas could reduce China’s emissions of greenhouse gases by a massive amount. It’s a huge shift. It really is a great thing for not only us here, but globally as well.”

© Tri-Cities Now

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