B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon says if someone brought him the B.C. NDP’s “so-called economic plan” presented Thursday, “I’d fire him on the spot.”
Premier John Horgan and Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon unveiled the plan at the B.C. legislature Feb. 17, featuring a new $136 million trades and technology centre at the B.C. Institute of Technology to expand training for apprenticeships.
The plan is an extension of the StrongerBC program Horgan announced the day before calling an election in 2022. Beyond the BCIT project, it restated earlier goals such as investing in innovation with a $500 million Crown corporation set up last year.
The plan has sweeping goals, including reconciliation with Indigenous people, meeting B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction targets and leading on environmental and social goals and fostering innovation through the corporation called InBC. Falcon said he expected to see it address affordability issues like housing and rising gasoline and grocery prices.
“Here we are, almost five years into the provincial government, and they finally released an economic plan,” Falcon told reporters at the legislature. “This was apparently informed by a left-wing academic they hired out of Britain, who used to advise the socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn. And as I look through here, the only thing you cannot find in this so-called economic plan are any measurables, any benchmarks, any targets.”
B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau was similarly critical.
“What we see today is a branding exercise rooted in maintaining the government’s image, rather than announcing tangible policy solutions to the challenges we face,” Furstenau said. “The economic plan is heavy on rhetoric and light on substance. Many of the announcements included in the plan are items that were advanced months ago.”