The B.C. Conservatives want to stem the flow of workers and jobs pouring out of the province.
“Job creation has to be a priority,” said party leader John Cummins at a North Island constituency association nomination meeting held at the Campbell River Seniors Centre on Friday.
Cummins was the featured speaker at a meeting that saw Bob Bray nominated as the BC Conservatives candidate for the spring election.
While seniors centre members enjoyed their weekly lunch and a couple shot some pool, the Conservatives held their nomination meeting. After announcing Bray’s appointment, Cummins addressed the lunching seniors.
His message was one of restoring opportunities to the province with the aim of keeping families together in their communities and stopping the exodus of workers to Alberta.
“More people have left British Columbia than have come here,” Cummins said. “The opportunities are simply not here.”
And Cummins is not talking about people leaving here to go work in Fort MacMurray for a two weeks and returning to their homes in B.C. for two weeks. He’s referring to workers “actually picking up and leaving the province.”
We need those high paying jobs so they can maintain the taxes and support health care in B.C.
Health care was another theme of the meeting and the questions from the audience. Not surprising, given that this was an audience that makes use of the health care system.
One audience member asked Cummins why health care premiums are rising.
Alberta and Ontario don’t pay health care premiums, Cummins pointed out. The thing that bothers him about the premium increase is that a lot of that money goes to administration and not into service. He believes the system should be simplified – and removing premiums would contribute to that – to reduce the cost of administration.
“I am quite sympathetic to the notion that we should be paying for that as part of our income tax,” Cummins said.