There is a Chinese proverb that says “talk does not cook rice.” Based on the “communities control” article written by Norm Macdonald (“Give communities control,” February 1) there is no substance in his pot apart from his non-nutritional words.
According to Macdonald the “provincial government has consistently removed power and resources from local communities and centralized decision making in the Premier’s office.” As he is well aware, this is just not true.
Since forming government, the BC Liberals have and continue to invest in our communities giving them the local control they deserve.
We have provided $2.7 billion in new funding to local governments. We created and funded the $20 million Spirit Squares Program enabling local celebration sites in communities and invested $51 million on Towns for Tomorrow, funding up to 80 per cent of infrastructure projects in smaller communities.
We established a new one-stop rural secretariat to assist municipalities and regional districts in applying for government infrastructure funding programs.
We promised and passed the Community Charter giving local governments the most empowering local government legislation in Canada. We brought in new Resort Community Legislation, which provided funding to communities including Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Radium Hot Springs and Revelstoke. These communities, along with others who share approximately $19 million annually to further invest in their local infrastructure and amenities.
We created WelcomeBC, a comprehensive approach to enhance settlement and integration services to help newcomers better adapt to life in their new communities and to assist communities to be more welcoming, we launched Network BC to help connect 151 communities without access to the internet.
Since 2001 we have provided arts and cultural groups found in communities throughout BC with more than a half billion dollars, more than any other government in the history of B.C.
We continue to focus on Community Living BC, supporting adults with developmental disabilities and their families so they can have meaningful lives in their communities.
Working directly with communities we have established 65 new parks, 144 conservancies, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas. We have expanded more than 60 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.9 million hectares of land; an area almost three times the size of PEI
When Norm Macdonald tells us that “we need to choose a government that understands and supports the power of community” he is correct.
What he forgot to mention is our collaborative achievements with communities and that British Columbia already has that government under the leadership of Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. So Norm, please tell us what the NDP have put into the pot over the last two decades keeping in mind that talk does not cook rice!
BC Liberal Candidate