COLUMN: MLA Adam Olsen responds to budget 2019

Adam Olsen is the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

MLA Adam Olsen. (BC Green Party)

I was elected to represent Saanich North and the Islands in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in large part because people in my riding lost confidence in government.

On each and every doorstep, I promised them that I would be passionate, bold and courageous in my work to rebuild their trust.

Budget 2019 is not a perfect budget. It’s not an awful budget. It’s a good budget, and it’s a smart budget. It begins to make the investments in people and in environment that signal this government is interested in rebuilding trust in our democratic institution.

Budget 2019 continues the work of restoring confidence in government. It features many initiatives that were in the Green platform. CleanBC represents meaningful action on climate change. But it also has investments in education, youth mental health, PharmaCare and child care.

With the CleanBC plan and the $900 million investment in this budget, it’s a great step forward to putting British Columbia back on track and on the pathway towards a cutting-edge, low-carbon economy.

Salmon is an issue I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on with the Premier’s Wild Salmon Advisory Council and I am disappointed to see no substantive investment in wild salmon. It is my hope that government steps forward soon with their commitment to this work as good salmon policy is good environmental, good social and good economic policy.

Budget 2019 takes tremendous steps in recognizing lifelong learning and making post-secondary education more affordable and accessible. I applaud the $550 million investment in public education and the $31 million investment in independent schools.

Also, Indigenous leaders have long been asking for access to gaming revenues, and $3 billion over 25 years is a remarkable advancement in the government-to-government relations in British Columbia.

The $50 million investment in high-speed internet connectivity is a start to better connectivity in rural communities. I know that Gulf Islanders will be eager to have part of that investment, and it will improve our communities.

Investments in innovation are not enough, we are facing disruptive technologies and innovations with the sole purpose of turning status quo markets upside down. It’s time for government, labour, business and politicians to wake up to this new reality that we face together. We must embrace the reality that we need to change or we will be changed.

I will continue to be both an active, productive partner in the work to rebuild trust in this democratic institution as well as a thoughtful critic.

I will continue to push forward on innovation, habitat protection, restoration and less bureaucratic fragmentation.

I will continue to demand deeper, more thorough action on the allegations of corruption and bad behaviour. We can go further, faster.

I will continue to advocate with a loud and respectful voice for the interests of Saanich North and the Islands.

To watch the video and/or read the transcript of Adam Olsen’s Budget 2019 response visit: adamolsenmla.ca/its-a-good-budget-its-a-smart-budget-2019. Olsen is the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

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