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Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson says throne speech ‘out of touch’ with the north

Stikne NDP MLA Doug Donaldson says the recent throne speech, touting plans for a balanced budget, missed the point.

Donaldson says rising fees are an issue that should have been addressed by the government that he says are out of touch with the needs of people in the north.

“The horrific hydro bills we’ve been getting this winter…ICBC premiums, medical service premiums – all those have gone up from 25 to 36 per cent under the Christy Clark government….that’s an affordability issue that’s really hitting people hard in Stikine and in the north.”

Donaldson is also concerned issues surrounding looming reductions to the annual allowable cut along with a mountain pine beetle strategy, something that was in a 2015 mandate, didn’t get a much needed mention in the speech.

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If the reduction in the annual allowable cut hits northern towns in tandem with any ill outcome on softwood lumber, Donaldson agrees that could prove problematic for the northern economy.

He agrees the Liberals appointing a special envoy to head BC’s interests in softwood lumber is a good move, but says the initiative is being rolled out too late.

“Why would you wait two years on something that’s so important to jobs in small communities right across the north, Smithers included?” says Donaldson.

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