Have you ever heard the saying, “There is no such thing as magic – just the reality of illusions?” Well, that’s what I think I saw today when I attended the Legislature for the provincial budget announcement – an illusion. The announcement did little to quell my concerns as a father, academic, public servant, and young citizen of this province.
The Financial Rabbit
Many promises were made in this budget announcement. But, what I am left wondering is this, “Why do MSP premiums, car insurance, and hydro cost so much more than they did a few years ago?” “Why do people’s paychecks just not cut it today?” The reality is that 2% of BC’s most wealthy have received tax cuts while our basic service fees go up. Increasing everyday fees for government provided services, in my opinion, is nothing more than a tax in disguise and amounts to economic oppression. Stealing from the people of this province and the working class, while cutting basic public services (such as mental health and counseling), in my view, is a contributing factor to social struggles we all face today.
Today, our wages in this province are stagnant. Our public services are being cut. Our fees for service are going up and the cost of living is fast out running the average individual’s ability to have a healthy life. Most people cannot afford to buy a home.
A Herd of Elephants
Remember watching the old David Copperfield shows? You know, the ones with a circle of people and an elephant in the middle of the room? David says some fancy words, throws a little smoke and mirrors, and poof! The elephant is gone! Remember?
Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to break it to you but the elephant was always there and it never disappeared. What we witnessed was an illusion. Today was no different. The elephant that this administration wants you to think has disappeared is the elephant in the room. The elephant of dead foster children who have aged out and suffered from mental illness, the elephant of a dead health care researcher, the elephant of seniors who are suffering in care, the elephant of rising costs and out of control service fees, the elephant of a stripped educational system which has left an entire generation of children behind, the elephant of environmental devastation and forgotten wildlife, the elephant of missing and murdered aboriginal women – I could go on. In fact, when I think about it, this government is trying to make a whole herd of political pachyderms disappear before the next election. Do not be fooled. It is an illusion, the herd of elephants is still in the political room, they were in the house today – I saw them, and no amount of smoke and mirrors will make them go away for real.
Time for a Better BC!
We need to re-shape this province. We need to come together as a society and form a government that has a capacity to care for our people. Together, we need to build a better BC.
Like the elephants, we won’t forget.