B.C. throne speech: Ticket sale reform, poverty plan and trust restoration
VICTORIA - British Columbia's minority New Democrat government is promising in its throne speech to launch a poverty reduction strategy in an effort to help more than 500,000 people living below the poverty line.
The government passed legislation last year to cut B.C.'s overall poverty rate by 25 per cent and the child poverty rate by 50 per cent over the first five years of the plan.
Other items in the government's political agenda in the throne speech include rules to prevent the unfair resale of concert tickets and tabling legislation that makes B.C. the first province in Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The speech, read by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin, also says the government will also work to implement reforms that restore trust in the legislature.
The two top officials at the legislature were suspended during the last legislative sitting amid a police investigation and a subsequent report released by Speaker Darryl Plecas that details allegations of spending abuses.
NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said the government will work to develop tighter checks on all officials at the legislature to ensure strict spending and reporting rules.
Clerk of the house Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz were suspended amid the RCMP probe and both men have denied wrongdoing.
The throne speech did not contain details about the government's anti-poverty plans other than say, “B.C. will deliver its first-ever poverty reduction strategy to give people the opportunities and supports they need to reach their full potential.”
Finance Minister Carole James is set to deliver the government's budget next week.