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Opposition produces results


As the legislative session draws to a close, I wanted to draw attention to some of the legislative changes that will impact us, and also reflect on the strides made by the opposition party. 


Representing Kelowna-Mission as a member of the opposition, I have had the opportunity to advocate for the needs and concerns of our community and to hold the government accountable for its actions.


One of the key accomplishments this session was the walk-back of two controversial government bills. 


These bills, which would have had far-reaching negative impacts on our communities, were halted thanks to the persistent efforts of the opposition and concerned citizens. This demonstrates the power of a strong, engaged opposition in ensuring that legislation truly serves the best interests of British Columbians.


The first bill was the Land Amendment Act. This bill would have made substantive changes to the Land Act and eroded our democratic interests over our public lands. This bill saw so much push back that the NDP government eventually “paused” the bill. While it did not come forward at this time, it may still be brought forward if they win another term.


The second bill was deemed for social media company accountability, but was not as it was named. The proposed legislation put huge liability on all companies that would have done business in or for BC, with only a minister’s certificate needed as proof. This would have essentially ended the business community in BC. This bill was introduced, but pushed back by opposition in second reading.


Another significant development was the walk-back of decriminalization of illicit drugs. Public pressure and the opposition’s questions brought changes necessary.  While this step partially addresses the open drug use, the government still did not bring solutions for this issue. We need comprehensive policies that include robust prevention programs, accessible treatment options, and effective recovery services. This multi-faceted approach is essential to truly tackling the complex issue of substance abuse and ensuring that those in need receive the support they deserve.


Despite these achievements on these three issues, there are still major issues facing British Columbians that have not been adequately addressed. 


The affordability crisis continues to place immense pressure on families and individuals. The cost of housing, everyday expenses, and the overall cost of living are making it increasingly difficult for people to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the bills introduced in this session do not effectively tackle these pressing concerns. We need policies that will significantly increase housing supply, streamline approval processes, and make homeownership more attainable for young families and first-time buyers.


The recent budget passed claimed to offer relief, but in reality, it gives out mere pennies while taking dollars from people and businesses. This approach places an additional burden on those who are already struggling, stifles economic growth, and discourages investment.


Small businesses, the backbone of our economy, are particularly hard hit. They need a budget that supports innovation, reduces regulatory burdens, and provides meaningful tax relief. Instead, we see policies that hinder their growth and sustainability.


Despite all of the new taxes (32 in the last four years), the budget still poses an 8 billion dollar deficit. The NDP are now spending 4 billion of our tax dollars a year on the interest on the debt that they have accumulated.


In conclusion, while this legislative session has seen some important achievements, it also highlights the ongoing challenges and shortcomings in addressing the needs of British Columbians. As a member of the opposition, I am committed to continuing the fight for policies that genuinely benefit our province and to holding the government accountable for its actions.


My question to you is this: What outstanding provincial issues would you like to see action on from government?

I love hearing from you and read every email.  Please email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620. 

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