Finance Minister Carole James says taxpayer-supported debt will continue to rise as more public infrastructure is built. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

EDITORIAL: Budget wishlist will be lengthy

The provincial public accounts released by Finance Minister Carole James have the NDP and Greens pleased with their position.

Having pried control of the provincial government from the Liberals, the NDP are the recipients of a $2.7 billion surplus.

James clearly signaled the government’s intentions: “It is long past time for the citizens of B.C. to share in the benefits of the strong economy they helped create.” Translation: It’s time to spend.

The Liberals will use this as their first point of attack, now that they’re back in opposition. Though their criticism comes from shaky ground. Government spending was going up well before the election.

The problem the NDP now faces is that $2.7 billion doesn’t go as far as it used to.

The Liberals for years prioritized funding of things that were relatively cheap and came with nice ribbons to cut. We got a lot of new infrastructure, much of it very useful – bridges and roads and even schools and hospital expansions.

They were always cheap, however, with the ongoing costs. Transportation, education, and social services never got as much attention.

If the NDP makes much-needed investments in those areas, it will help a lot of people. But it will also increase the amount spent year after year after year, on salaries for bus drivers, nurses, teachers, doctors, and others.

We need to spend that money. B.C. is booming, but many have been left behind. Building a better future will be costly, but necessary, if we want the province to thrive.

Black Press

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Traffic delays between Vernon and Coldstream

Work on Kalamalka Lake Road may slow motorists down

Woman faces second impaired driving charge

Vernon woman came in to deal with first charge from May when a strong odour of liquor was detected

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Inmate suing Okanagan Correctional over alleged assault

Inmate claims an officer grabbed him by the throat and threw him onto the bed

Most Read