Last Thursday, I delivered our annual submission to the B.C. Government’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The committee holds annual province-wide public consultations on the next provincial budget. It’s made up of a cross-section of all-party MLAs. This year, our former BCGEU president and now NDP MLA George Heyman is a committee member.
British Columbians are invited and encouraged to participate a number of ways. They can present at a public hearing, as I did. People can also submit in writing, via audio or video message or by completing an online survey.
The BCGEU makes a presentation to the committee each year as part of the public hearing process. As well, we submit a written document, which outlines, in greater detail, our priorities for the next provincial budget.
How do we determine our priorities? By speaking with and listening to you, our membership. Each year, your BCGEU leadership teams visits worksites around the province. We also attend member meetings. Anything we can do to solicit input from the members who provide public services to British Columbians, and who also live and work in communities across the province.
Here’s why we feel it’s important the committee hears from BCGEU members. Working people must have their say on the matters that impact them. The committee listens to wide-ranging views and recommendations from a variety sectors and interest groups that have a stake in British Columbia. Among them big business and anti-labour forces.
Our submission is comprehensive. In a nutshell, we’re urging B.C. to chart a new course, one that ensures quality jobs within a vibrant, inclusive economy, reliable, effective social supports for families and communities, and effective protection for the environment and natural resources.
I hope you will take the time to read the entire presentation. You can access it here, online.