It’s been three years since Premier Christy Clark made her grandiose promises around job creation.
Even by her own standard, the premier has been a failure on job creation and economic development.
The Claim: In September 2011 Premier Clark began making promises about creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in British Columbia. Asked about how she would fulfill those promises, she said, “My recipe is that we grow a thriving private sector.” (The Northern View, Sept. 19, 2011).
The Claim, updated: In December, 2013, the premier said British Columbians wouldn’t have to wait much longer. “We haven’t seen all the fruits of our labours yet but we will. I hope, in 2014…” (CFAX, Dec. 10, 2013).
Failure to Act: Despite pinning all their hopes on liquefied natural gas, the Liberals missed deadlines to put in place a tax regime for this new industry, meaning that international competitors have had years to get ahead of British Columbia. Meanwhile, the Liberals have failed to look after the needs of other industries – including the high-tech sector and tourism, along with the forestry and mining sectors which have been closing facilities and shedding jobs.
The Result: Statistics Canada reports that British Columbia is second last in private sector job creation among provinces from September 2011 to today. The most recent numbers show a loss of 10,800 private sector jobs in August. B.C. also is third to last in growth in wages and has the greatest levels of inequality of any province in Canada.
Quote – New Democrat spokesperson for jobs, Shane Simpson: “The Liberals have tried to distance themselves from the premier’s own promises by calling them ‘aspirational.’ British Columbians know what that means: the Liberals simply made things up. Unfortunately for B.C. the Liberals have put all their economic eggs into one basket, at the expense of the rest of the economy, and their failure to create employment is hurting British Columbia.”