“It looks good,” says BC Liberal candidate for Columbia River Revelstoke, of the just-released provincial budget.
“It’s a big budget and it’s important for people in the Kootenays to know what it means for them. We are six mountain ranges and a boat ride from the capital.
“Budgets don’t happen on their own. This is this government’s fifth consecutive balanced budget. No other government in Canada can say that. This is the result of the fiscal prudence of this government. We are the envy of every other province, and have the highest forecast for growth. It’s really exciting. We have the lowest tax burden of just about anywhere in Canada. Our Triple A credit rating means we save billions of dollars in interest. We are the only province in Canada that has kept its Triple A rating. And it’s because the economy is so strong.”
He points to the reduction of MSP premiums as being a real tangible benefit, two million people will see more money back in their pockets by 2018.
And it has to be done over time, Clovechok said because people have to register and verify their income to be eligible.
“The NDP will say everything is built on the backs of the middle class. Well guess what? The rich are still going to be paying. Tell the truth.”
As for his opponent’s assertion that eliminating MSP premiums is an NDP initiative, Clovechok says it’s laughable.
“The Premier has been saying that MSP premiums need to be eliminated for years. To say the Premier is stealing the idea means Gerry Taft has no clue.”
Clovechok also points to the elimination of the PST on electricity bills for business and a reduction in the small business tax rate as initiatives that will keep Kootenay people at work and businesses open.
He also scoffs at the notion that all the money being put into education is only because of a court ruling.
“In 2001, per student funding was $6262 per student and in 2016-2017 it is up to $9000. For them to say it’s because of a court case is unfounded. Our education system has grown. It’s one of the best in the world. Have we neglected it? No.
“We have the drop in student loan interest rates, $100 mi8llion for mental health, $800 million to support families, an increase in park sites and forest service sites, $10 million for invasive species research and control.
“It will all trickle down into the Kootenays.”
As for anyone saying it will all be redone after the election, Clovechok asks, “Does Norm or Mr. Hooles have a crystal ball?”