Letnick pans throne speech

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick is disappointed the NDP government's throne speech didn't include safeguards for the provincial economy.

Tuesday's speech outlined the direction government plans to take during the new session of the legislature.

"While I appreciate their focus on social programs, somebody has to pay for that," said Letnick.

He pointed out the NDP, when in opposition, voted against a motion to support the Trans Pacific Partnership, and did not support NAFTA.

"There's only one taxpayer, so we need to continue to make every effort to expand trade, not reduce trade," added the BC Liberal MLA.

"This is unfortunate. If we have an opportunity to have the strongest economy in the country, as we did in the past, we should continue that so we can pay for many of the social ambitions the NDP has."

Two specific items mentioned in Tuesday's speech also caught Letnick's attention.

One was an item to accelerate the repair or replacement of 50 B.C. schools.

When given the opportunity, Letnick says he will question the education minister as to whether that list includes Rutland Middle School, which he says is a key priority in the Central Okanagan.

The other was a comment concerning landlords and tenants.

"This spring, government will introduce stronger protections for renters and owners of manufactured homes, and protections for renters facing eviction due to renovation or demolition," said Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

Letnick said it's unclear exactly what that means.

"If they are planning something for property owners that if they plan to demolish an old property to build something new, that the tenants will have protections, I don't know what that means.

"Many landlords in our community will want clarity as to what the government is planning."

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