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Letter: Reader praises budget for social spending, wonders if it was read by Shuswap MLA

Plan to expand fracking and LNG production a concern
Letter writer praises the recent B.C. budget for social spending, including the long-awaited “renters rebate” tax credit to households earning up to $80,000. (File photo)

Our MLA, Greg Kyllo, dismisses the B.C. government’s 2023 budget as “another NDP disappointment,” and criticizes it for doing “nothing” to address the crises in health care, housing, crime and mental health (Salmon Arm Observer, March 8).

It makes me wonder whether Mr. Kyllo has read the budget.

I applaud the B.C. government for:

• Investing $4.2 billion over three years to build new homes through ‘Building BC’ and ‘BC Housing’ programs;

• Introducing the long-awaited “renters rebate” tax credit to households earning up to $80,000;

• Strengthening health care with new investments in the health care workforce, and in mental health, addictions, and treatment services;

• Increasing financial assistance to lower-income families and individuals.

Clearly, much more is needed to fully address the multiple crises our province faces. We need to make progress toward lower rents, quicker access to quality public health care, fewer toxic drug deaths, and more $10/day child care spaces. This is no small task after decades of under-investment and outright cuts by previous BC Liberal governments, which Mr. Kyllo was part of.

Despite the progressive elements in the budget, I am deeply concerned and disappointed about the B.C. government’s plan to expand fracking and LNG production by 11 per cent. This means B.C. will not be able to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target at a time when urgent, ambitious action is needed to address the climate crisis.

Premier Eby has admitted that, “We cannot continue to subsidize fossil fuels and expect clean energy to manifest somehow. We cannot continue to expand fossil fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals.”

We need to remind Mr. Eby of his words and press his government to act accordingly.

Anne Morris

Read more: Long-awaited renters’ rebate among credits promised in B.C.’s 2023 budget

Read more: Hope and fear: 2023-2024 B.C. budget draws range of reactions
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