‘Cut-and-paste’ throne speech

B.C. hopes to create jobs and stimulate consumer confidence amid a global  recession.

B.C. hopes to create jobs and stimulate consumer confidence amid a global recession.

“We must brace for a period of recession,” said Lt.-Gov. Steven Point, as he read the speech from the throne to the Legislative Assembly in Victoria yesterday.

“Our government will do all it can to protect the economic gains families have made in the last eight years and to secure advanced economic prospects for them in the years ahead.”

New Democrat Leader Carole James said the speech was a mishmash of past throne speeches, a “cut-and-paste job of other promises and other failures.”

In the speech, Point reiterated much of the premier’s televised economic statement from October, including reducing personal and business taxes and creating a B.C. pension plan by July 1, 2010.

The minimum hourly wage, however, will not be raised above $8 because it would “mean more job losses, depress job creation and hurt those it purports to help,” Point read.

Promises included:

• The creation of a new law school at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops that would be offered in collaboration with the University of Calgary.

• Developing a Recognition and Reconciliation Act with First Nations to recognize aboriginal rights and title and facilitate partnerships.

• Expanding the Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement to all Canadians wanting to work in B.C.

James said the speech makes it clear the B.C. Liberals “have run out of ideas” and was shocked that no mention of public safety was made on a day that saw a pair of shootings in Surrey.

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