According to Stats Canada, the B.C. Liberals Jobs Plan has been a bust. Since Premier Clark launched it, in September 2011, B.C. has lost 34,500 private sector jobs. British Columbians are also suffering from the second worst job creation record in the country.
And still, the B.C. Liberal government spent $16 million of taxpayer money on an advertising campaign to promote their plan.
Now the B.C. Liberals want another chance. The B.C. Liberals are telling British Columbians that further development of the province’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector is the magic bullet to solve all of our economic problems.
Supporting the expansion of LNG production in B.C. is important. Both the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Liberals are committed to doing just that. But only Adrian Dix and the B.C. NDP have made concrete commitments that will support job creation in LNG. And the B.C. NDP plan will help grow B.C.’s economy, not just in traditional sectors like natural gas, mining, and forestry, but also in many other sectors, including digital media, television and film, and the growing clean tech industries.
Investing in skills training is critical. Talk to businesses in almost any sector about job creation, and they will tell you largely the same story. A big part of the challenge they face in deciding to make larger investments here – to create more jobs – is that B.C. is sorely lagging behind other provinces in support for skills training.
Only the B.C. NDP is promising to invest more into post-secondary education and skills training, with a goal to create more spaces, and a priority to work with businesses and stakeholders to improve completion rates and invest in modern equipment. This commitment will benefit a wide diversity of industries – not just the natural gas sector.
The commitment to skills training is the cornerstone of the B.C. NDP’s approach to jobs and the economy, an approach that includes finally dealing with the permitting backlog for new mining and LNG projects, increasing tax credit programs to bolster B.C.’s film and TV industry, and expanding the “Buy B.C.” program to promote non-agricultural products made in B.C., both here and abroad.
You can read more about the B.C. NDP’s platform on jobs and the economy here: www.bcndp.ca/plan/jobseconomy.
Marcella Munro is an NDP strategist and a Principal with Earnscliffe Strategy Group. Connect with Marcella on Twitter at @marcellam.
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