Question Period: New Democrats highlight Liberal government’s failure to secure B.C. jobs for British Columbians
VICTORIA – New Democrats pressed the Liberal government for answers in the B.C. legislature Thursday about why they have failed to stand up for British Columbia workers seeking positions in B.C. mines.
Jobs minister Pat Bell refused to offer a single substantive answer to questions about why a northern B.C. mine was preparing to hire hundreds of offshore workers even though labour unions have revealed through documents released by court order that there were qualified workers already in B.C. to fill those jobs.
New Democrat leader Adrian Dix led question period by asking why the Liberal government knew of and condoned a mining company’s plan to not hire B.C. workers in a B.C. mine.
Dix, along with labour critic Shane Simpson, skills training critic Gwen O'Mahony and Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth, pointed to a briefing note for a meeting between the premier and HD Mining in 2011. The briefing note clearly lays out the full extent of the company's plans to hire hundreds of temporary foreign workers for the mine. The note also shows that no attempt was made to secure those jobs for British Columbians by the Liberal government.
Also in Question Period Thursday:
- Citing several recent reports, including the 2012 Missing Women’s Inquiry, New Democrat women's issues critic Sue Hammell, public safety critic Kathy Corrigan, and aboriginal affairs critic Scott Fraser asked the Liberal government how many reports they need to initiate or read before they commit to taking real action on violence against women. Today marks the 22nd year of the Women’s Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women and the 15th anniversary of One Billion Rising, a global initiative inviting one billion men and women to stand up and speak out in an effort to end violence against women.
- Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy asked why a child was forced to wait eight months to only receive partial Early Intervention and Supported Child Care services in the B.C. Interior due to the Liberal government’s failure to keep up with growing demand in the region. Waitlists for some early intervention services in the region can be as long as 18 months to two years.
- New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming challenged Environment Minister Terry Lake to explain his comments that surplus revenues paid by B.C.'s hospitals, colleges and universities to the Pacific Carbon Trust could be used to pad the Liberals' budget. Fleming said the Liberals’ scheme hands those millions to private companies, including those in the oil and gas sector.
Text from Thursday’s question period today is available at this link: http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/39th5th/H30214y.htm
Adrian Dix and B.C.'s New Democrats are offering change for the better, one practical step at a time.