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MLA’S CORNER: Life has become less affordable

It’s clear B.C. is in a worrying situation, says MLA Lorne Doerkson
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)

We hear the word affordability all the time. It’s become a central topic of conversation in our province, both from government and in our day-to-day conversations. In 2022, I don’t think I went more than a day without talking with someone about how expensive gas, groceries, or housing is these days.

By nearly every metric, life has become less affordable after six years of the NDP. As an MLA, it is deeply frustrating to see people in our community struggle to make ends meet, or find a good home they can afford, while government talks about all they have supposedly done to improve affordability.

Anyone engaged in their community knows that if government has taken any steps to address affordability, they are not making a difference in the daily lives of real people.

Having good intentions is important, and I believe the NDP genuinely wants the best for people, however they have been unable to translate their intentions into outcomes.

As a result, we now have the most expensive rental markets in the country, the most expensive fuel prices, the overall use of food banks by seniors has increased by 78 per cent over the last five years, and almost half of British Columbians are $200 or less away from insolvency at the end of each month.

It’s clear B.C. is in a worrying situation, and what people don’t need are more words or empty promises. They need support from government and initiatives that will make a tangible difference. It’s why our BC Liberal caucus proposed multiple inflation-fighting measures last year and called on government to adopt them.

Measures like a one-time enhanced carbon tax rebate for low-and-middle income families, the elimination of the sales tax on used cars under $20,000, and a temporary suspension of the gas tax to provide people with relief at the pumps. It’s simple steps like these that could immediately deliver results for people, and if the NDP is serious about affordability, they will take more of them in 2023.