BC Premier, self-proclaimed champion of families, jobs and economy Christy Clark in her year end interview few days ago acknowledged that her key jobs plan is on slow pace and expressed expectation that jobs creation will pick up next year. While she traveled around Asia on trade mission over the last few weeks, avoiding her job at the Legislature, new numbers showed BC’s failure in two key areas of her two last campaigns. One is status of BC families, especially children, with highest ever child poverty rate currently leading in Canada. Second is as she said “slow pace” jobs creation trend which didn’t delivered even close to what she wanted to be.
Now Premier Clark is expressing her expectation that jobs creation will speed up next year, in a year when municipalities all over the province will decide their future over the next few years. Especially important races will be in Surrey and Vancouver as two largest, most powerful municipalities with Mayors so powerful that whole region depends on their sole word and agreement on important issues. Mayor’s of Surrey and Vancouver Dianne Watts and Gregor Roberston will captivate attention of BC and regional electorate in that way that nobody would pay any attention on what Premier or her government are doing or promising. Surrey’s expansion from suburban to modern metropolitan, Vancouver’s need for more investment in transportation, bike lines and pressure to keep regional leadership position are just few of interesting areas for people in Metro Vancouver for next year. During the next year when Premier Clark expects betters jobs results nobody will even pay attention to those numbers or what provincial government is doing because issues around municipal taxes, transportation, schools, local environment, future development will captivate electorate minds. Smoke curtain will come very nicely to Premier and her team to try to cover potential future failures in these very important areas for the economic and financial future of the province.
According to Premier herself new jobs could come through some LNG decisions during the next year, but as we know to see results of those projects as she rightly concludes will pass several years.
“We haven’t seen all the fruits of our labours yet, but we will. I hope in 2014, we’ll get to some final investment decisions on some of the LNG plants. I hope we’ll see some of the fruits of these labours, but it’s just not the kind of thing that’s going to happen overnight”, she said.
Of course key word here is “hope”. When you place your destiny and lives of millions of people in your province in hands of hope result could go both ways. The best chance for BC to really speeds up this process and delivers clear results in area of jobs is not to have a hope, or to expect some “final decisions”, chance is hidden in investments which would deliver jobs and benefits now or in very soon future with real numbers and facts what we can expect.
Opposition critic Mike Farnworth issued statement last week in which proclaimed BC as the worst province when it comes to jobs creation with loss of more than 6,500 private sector jobs. In the same statement NDP MLA said that approximately 14,000 BC residents fled to Alberta over the last two years since Clark started her jobs program, which means that BC economy is significantly weakened.
In same interview Premier Clark described child poverty as “way way way too high” connecting it to economy and describing it as “parent poverty”. Well if she thinks to fight it soon and cut down from highest ever then she needs something more reliable than “hope”. With current pace change in this area would not come for at least two three years and God knows how many young lives will be impacted by this governmental failure to take action sooner.