Friday, September 26, 2014

Rural British Columbians need more action, less talk - BC Conservative Party leader Dan Brooks

This came into my email box


Rural British Columbians need more action, less talk - Brooks
BC Liberals' 8-page report omits mention of BC Ferries, mine & mill closures

September 26th, 2014 - PRINCE GEORGE - Dan Brooks, Leader of the BC Conservatives, today described a report on rural British Columbia released by Premier Christy Clark and her BC Liberal government on the eve of the annual UBCM Convention as a failure of leadership.

"The population of rural B.C. fell by 58,000 residents between 1996 and 2011, while at the same time the province's urban centres gained more than 733,000 people," said Brooks.

"There is no question that we are witnessing a dramatic - and painful - transformation of rural British Columbia, and yet all the Clark Liberals can do is publish a report promising to create a 'Rural Advisory Council'.

"It's not only too little, too late," he said. "It's a clear abdication of responsibility in a time of near-crisis."

Entitled 'Supporting Rural Development: Creating a Voice for Rural British Columbia', the 8-page paper promises to create an advisory committee of between 10 and 18 members.

Promised a year ago, the report contains such inanities as: "For the Council to be successful, it needs to be structured effectively," and "A combination of actions and strategies are needed to build local communities, develop strong community leadership, and support active community volunteers."

At the same time, the paper makes not a single reference to the harmful impact of BC Liberal policies on rural communities served by BC Ferry Services, nor economic distress caused by the on-going closure of sawmills and mines in northern B.C.

"This year, British Columbians saw the Clark government do nothing when sawmills were shut down forever in Houston and Quesnel, and three coal mines closed in Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge," said Brooks.

"British Columbia desperately needs a government that will adopt a pro-active approach on behalf of rural parts of the province, instead of the Clark Liberals' penchant for inane reports that promise future discussions."
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Dan Brooks
Leader, BC Conservative Party

Ian MacDonald
Director of Communications, BC Conservative Party