Before I start, I know what a lot of you are thinking: there are way more then 10 reasons we need a new government and I completely agree. In fact, I have seen lists that go past 100 showing all valid reasons.
However, to keep this short I'm listing the top 10 reasons of why I strongly believe British Columbia desperately needs a change in leadership. These are all issues that every citizen can relate to and some of them, if not addressed soon, could be the downfall of our province. So here we go:
1. We have the lowest-funded public education system and the lowest-paid teachers in Canada. Our public education is hanging on by a thread, while parents and teachers apply layers of tape to try and hold it together. One day, the funding cuts will be too much and the whole thing will fall apart; in fact in some schools it already has.
Look around at our glorious "world class" public education system and you will find the highest class sizes in Canada, schools infested with rats, buildings falling apart, bathroom conditions you wouldn't find in a prison, unsafe boarded-up playgrounds and numerous other signs of underfunding.
Remember with every underfunding problem you see, there are 10 more that you don't. Immediate action is needed to turn our public school system around and despite government promises to make public education a priority, along with their own reports suggesting an increases of funding, our government has decided to call for more cuts.
2. Citizens are dying because of our underfunded, overcrowded health care system. Canada is known for our free universal health care giving all citizens access to equal treatment. Try telling that to anyone in this province waiting months or years for surgery or to see a specialist. In some areas you are wait-listed just to get a regular doctor or simple things like ultrasounds and MRIs.
ERs and hospitals are overcrowded and understaffed. Less care for those who need it along with a higher chance of infection or disease spreading. Conditions get worse without treatment, some people die waiting for help. Except for those who can afford private care or sacrifice everything they have to cover treatment costs simply because they want to live.
We need more hospitals, more nurses, more doctors ,and more specialists, we need better care for every citizen. How bad does it have to get before our government will even admit there is a problem, let alone do something about it?
3. Our government has consistently shown complete disregard for our environment and natural resources. Pushing for pipelines and oil tankers while cutting services that ensure safety. Basically giving our water away to a multi-billion dollar company who turns around and sells for a profit, even when areas in B.C. are already reporting water shortages. Selling public land at a discounted price, including selling to a Liberal Party donor, all to create the illusion of a balanced budget. The overkill ad campaigns for LNG, paid for by public tax dollars, to promote what some would call a declining industry.
We need a government that protects our natural resources for future generations and if we do have extra resources how about we sell them for profit and put that money into education or health care.
4. Families First? Premier Christy Clark ran on a platform of "Families First." Since being elected, I struggle to come up with even one policy or change she has made that helps the average B.C. family. In fact, in the recent budget, she ignored numerous recommendations (from her own government reports) such as: an increase of funding to public schools, implementing an anti-poverty reduction plan, implementing an affordable universal $15 a day child care, and increasing the minimum wage.
All of which would have greatly improved poverty rates and would have a profound affect on the lives of many citizens, especially our most vulnerable. Instead there will be more of the same: tax cuts to big business and the highest income levels, more money for advertising, and more cuts everywhere else. The only families Ms. Clark puts first are high income ones, those who don't need the extra help.
5. Protecting foreign interests over citizens' best interests. Selling assets, resources, and anything else she can to any foreign investor with enough money, it seems everything in our province has a price tag to Ms. Clark.
Travelling to India to help build schools while underfunding schools to the point of closure in her own province. Pushing the LNG market which serves to benefit foreign companies the most. Pushing for more foreign workers instead of addressing unemployment and poverty of B.C. citizens.
While I understand the need for governments in various regions and countries to work together, I expect one of our premier's main priorities to be advocating and looking out for our province and citizens first.
6. Photo ops, photo ops and yes, more photo ops. If there is an opportunity to get a smiling picture of herself out there Clark will be there. That is, of course, as long as there is no chance of having to do any real work or answer any real questions. Instead of showing up when there are real issues at hand and when citizens are calling out for accountability and answers, Clark carefully selects events and ensures she is surrounded by press that support the Liberal agenda.
When major issues arise in our province -- such as the Vancouver oil spill -- you will never hear or see a quick response. Instead you will get silence until a carefully written out statement -- usually directing blame elsewhere -- is released followed by no questions or follow up. A premier that cares more about her image then the long list of urgent issues our province is currently facing, is completely useless. We need action. We need accountability. Clark gives us neither.
7. Leadership and innovative ideas. This province needs leadership, not just a smiling face behind a desk, real leadership that will go to bat for this province and our citizens' best interests. Someone who won't just jump on the federal government bandwagon, leading us down a dark path that only serves in the best interests of federal leaders.
We need innovative ideas that will guide and shape this province to be the amazing place we all know it can be. The excuse of "we can't fund this, we can't afford that" when it comes to citizens' basic needs of education, health care and other social services, does not fly with me.
We can afford it, every other province manages just fine, and if we can't maybe it's because we have the lowest corporate taxes in Canada or maybe our government just doesn't know how to manage our money.
8. We have the highest child poverty in Canada and we are the ONLY province without a poverty reduction plan. Studies from last year show 18.6 per cent of children live below the poverty line. That's one out of five who are not having their basic needs met.
Even more alarming, one in two children from single parent homes live in poverty. For years, reports and recommendations have been submitted to the government to address this growing problem -- ZERO of which have been implemented to date.
What does it say about a government that flaunts a "balanced budget" and continuously cuts corporate taxes when 153,000 children in this province live in poverty?
9. Our government officials refuse to work. Our premier is a no-show for cabinet meetings, our education minister is a no-show at the B.C. School Trustees Association. Liberal MLAs locked their doors and turned off the phones during the teachers' strike.
I personally know of countless people, myself included, who have written letters to all of them and never received a reply. We pay our government officials a ridiculous amount of money and they can't even show up when important issues are on the line. Can someone please remind me what we are paying these people for?
10. Advertisements gone wrong. I would personally love a solid explanation of why my, and all citizens', tax dollars are being used to attack teachers, promote LNG, promote job plans, and countless other liberal spin.
Millions and millions spent on advertisements and don't even get me started on the "digital influencers" paid to attack citizens' views online that don't match up with the Liberal point of view.
Our government is spending our tax dollars to attack the people who educate our children. Advertisements for job plans when all we really need is more jobs, not commercials advertising how many jobs there MAY be in the future. How are we suppose to believe our province can't afford to properly fund education and health care when we have millions to throw away on advertisements?
Our current government is grossly out of touch with your average citizen. I know most would argue this could be true of any politician and I would be inclined to agree, but the Liberals are on their own level. They know very little and care even less about the issues that the average citizen in B.C. deals with.
Our government has NOTHING in place to address any of these issues now or in the future.
It's time for a change!
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