KAMLOOPS — It’s not much of a stretch to realize that the B.C. Interior could well be on the outside looking in if the NDP and Greens newly-formed coalition eventually winds up with them trying to govern the province.
With John Horgan and Andrew Weaver owing most of their support to ridings in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, it stands to reason that they will feel a duty to provide some “goodies” as a thank you to the people who supported them. That’s the way the political system works, and I don’t expect things to change no matter what the Greens say about political change and a new way of doing things.
So if you are going to spend money, where are you going to spend it? In the Lower Mainland? Victoria? Of course- that’s where your base of support is.
All the promises made during the campaign about the four-laning of the Trans Canada? The building of the new hospital tower? The help for City projects? The new Engineering School at TRU? Not necessarily going to happen.
What could happen? Maybe they’ll find a way to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. Or the Ajax mine. What we could well see is a massive halt in the number of jobs- good paying jobs- that could be created in the Interior.
Now obviously a government has to look at necessities, and there are things we need in the Interior that a government of any stripe couldn’t ignore. And obviously the proof will be in the pudding. But I have been around this game a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of things happen that don’t make a lot of sense.
And you can argue the other side of the coin too. If the NDP and Greens want to build for the future and the next election four years down the road, and if they want to expand their strength to include the Interior, then some goodies for places like Kelowna and Kamloops make sense. But I would guess they would want to thank their supporters first, so I don’t expect much to come our way for some time.
Besides, the Greens and NDP seem much more focused at this point on big-ticket items like Kinder Morgan and political contributions and proportional representation than they are about job creation and economic growth.
With rising interest rates on the horizon, and the need to continue to move our economy forward, job creation is a primary focus in this province. It certainly won’t do any good for the NDP to put its $15 minimum wage proposal into effect if there are no jobs available for workers to take advantage of it.
Now we must realize that, as of this writing, the Liberals could still try to hang on to power. Whether they can, of course, is another matter.
There is a huge amount of pressure right now of Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon. The Lieutenant-Governor has to have confidence that the government can work.So she has a lot on her shoulders.
Whatever the outcome, Interior residents are waiting with baited breath to see where they stand over the next few years. If I were them, I’d be shaking in my boots.