While the B.C. budget presented on Feb. 15 was described to be a ‘status quo’ budget, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley said it is anything but.
“It’s certainly not a stand pat budget when you look at what the vision reflects,” said Routley.
Cuts to the Agricultural Land Commission, forest stewardship and planting and cuts to student aid and $1 billion left for the new premier make this budget ‘too cynical for words,’ said Routley.
“It makes victims of those areas government needs to pay more attention to, not less.”
Routley also pointed out there are cuts equalling around $6 million to crown prosecutors, roughly the same cost as the BC Rail legal costs.
Court services were also cut by $9 million.
Routley said he would like to see the deficit be less, like in the budget, but not at the expense of other programs.
As for his own party’s leadership race, Routley said it will be interesting to see it shape up after the Liberal vote on Feb. 26.
Routley said he is backing Mike Farnworth who is the NDP house leader.
Routley has worked with Farnworth and confident in his abilities.
“I found him to be very democratic and an open-door kind of leader and he has excellent ideas around re-empowering rural communities,” said Routley.
Routley said Farnworth’s commitment to the NDP’s Sustainability B.C. document is also a big reason for his endorsement as well as his experience as an administrator.