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B.C. throne speech 2017: NDP tables its 1st in 16 years

Analysis of NDP government’s throne speech
WATCH: Global BC’s Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey and UVic political scientist Michael Prince have more on today’s throne speech and other political developments in Victoria.

The BC NDP unveiled their first throne speech in 16 years on Friday, and it was one that stayed in line with promises made in the party’s election platform and in an alliance made with the BC Greens.

The speech kicked off by acknowledging the devastating wildfires that have threatened the province this summer, as well as the deadly opioid crisis, and the constant struggle of homelessness.

Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon read the speech, saying that the government is ready to build a better B.C.

“The people of B.C. must always come first,” she said.

READ MORE: Former B.C. Liberal elected as Speaker of the House

One of the priorities outlined in the speech was long-promised election finance reform.

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This, after the party faced criticism for delaying action against corporate and union donations.

The NDP also promised a referendum on proportional representation later than November next year.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP offers up yearly $400 renter’s rebate

Affordability was also front and centre, with the NDP promising to help renters by closing the fixed-lease loophole.

However, the speech did not specifically mention the $400 renters rebate mentioned during the election.

“We will increase support to the Residential Tenancy Branch to make sure tenants and landlords are treated fairly,” Guichon said.

 

Also in the spotlight was childcare, mentioning a universal childcare program rather than the $10-dollar-a-day care program.

READ MORE: BC NDP says $10-a-day child care promise will be kept

The speech also hinted that Monday’s budget will make sure “children are ready to learn and have classrooms to learn in.”

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More details are expected to become available on Sept. 11, after the NDP releases their budget and makes clear how they plan to pay for their promises.