I want to begin by thanking the people of Columbia River-Revelstoke for choosing me to represent them in the legislature. It is clear that people here want a better government that puts the interests of regular British Columbians ahead of corporate interests or a chosen few.
I will continue to serve as a member of the Opposition, a critically important role in a democracy. Our parliamentary system is set up to provide balance and scrutiny. My job is to be relentless in holding the government to account for its actions.
I will view every piece of legislation through the lens of what is best for my constituents, and I will push government to amend every piece of legislation to ensure that it serves the public interest.
And I will fight every government action that hurts my area. Whether it is in reaction to cuts to healthcare services, reduced services for children or the misuse of public lands, I will stand with you in opposition.
Recent history tells us that people can force change. We have been successful in reversing the HST, stopping the privatization of our rivers, and getting services and facilities for our seniors. But we always did it together, and it was always a fight.
The first item of legislative business will be the passing of a budget for the province. The BC Liberals tabled a budget in February they claimed was balanced, but that supposition was based on the use of deferral accounts in BC Hydro, the fire sale of assets, and significant reductions in services.
The fact is that those cuts will come hard and fast over the next months, and the BC Liberals have always targeted rural communities first.
We have only one choice. We must stand together against the loss of services. We must make it so uncomfortable for the government that they have to back down.
I look forward to standing with you for the next four years. Thank you again for your support.