'Fire sale' not in public interest, say NDP

The Liberal government's plan to balance the provincial budget next week by conducting a fire sale of public assets is shortsighted and not in the public interest, says the NDP.

The NDP candidates for Westside-Kelowna and Vernon-Monashee highlighted a Kelowna property destined for sale by the Liberal government in an effort to fill a $700-million hole in the budget.

“This Liberal government is intent on selling our valuable properties and assets for their own short-term political gain,” said Westside-Kelowna NDP candidate Carole Gordon.

“These assets could play an important role in the future for delivery of services in our communities, but this short-sighted ploy by the Liberals means it will be more difficult with an ever-tougher real estate market.”

The lot at 200 Potterton Road in Kelowna, which was assessed at $5 million in 2013, is slated for sale. It is one of approximately 100 assets that were marked for sell-off in the 2012/13 budget.

While the Liberal government has kept the full list secret, Finance Minister Mike De Jong has committed to a "more detailed inventory than you saw last year," when the budget is presented on Feb. 19.

“This short-sighted sell-off of public lands is anything but strategic,” said Vernon-Monashee NDP candidate Mark Olsen. “In their desperation to make the budget appear balanced, the Liberals are robbing the generations of tomorrow.”

Oslen said the Liberals are focused on the wrong priorities. “They play partisan games instead of working for a healthier economy and sustainable jobs,” he said.

“That’s how we got the HST, and that’s why we’re seeing a fire sale of public assets.”

Gordon said New Democrats will work to change B.C. for the better.

 “Adrian Dix and the NDP believe in sustainable growth, not partisan quick fixes,” she said.

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