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MLA’S CORNER: NDP has no plan for billions in spending

NDP government is sending money out the door without any respect, oversight or due diligence
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)

It’s the Official Opposition’s job to hold government accountable — for their policy decisions, their promises to British Columbians, and their spending of taxpayer dollars.

Recently, Premier David Eby found himself sitting on a multi-billion-dollar surplus, and deciding to spend it, rather than let it go towards paying down the province’s debt, he was on a tight timeline to get the money out the door before March 31st. This resulted in $2.7 billion in additional funding needing to be approved by the Legislature in a matter of weeks.

Now, there is nothing wrong with government responsibly spending money on programs and services that benefit British Columbians. In fact, that is one of its primary roles. However, there is an expectation from the Official Opposition — and more importantly, the people of B.C. — that government knows exactly where the money is going and has a plan for it to be used as effectively as possible. To say that this NDP government is lacking such a plan is a gross understatement.

Just last week, I got a front row seat to watch the NDP’s lack of preparedness while I was asking questions of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Minister Nathan Cullen about the $100 million going to his ministry.

It was soon revealed that this massive amount of money is actually being set aside for a fund that doesn’t yet exist. Even after hours of questions, I couldn’t get the Minister to arrive at any answers that convinced me he had a clear idea of where this money was going and how it would be used to benefit our province.

And this wasn’t just the case with Resource Stewardship. Agriculture, Health and many other ministries also received some of this $2.7 billion and could only give equally vague and uninspiring answers about where it was going. It’s clear this NDP government is sending money out the door without any respect, oversight or due diligence, and British Columbians deserve better.

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