B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon takes questions from the media after speaking at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon. (Photo/Gary Barnes)

B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon takes questions from the media after speaking at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon. (Photo/Gary Barnes)

Affordability in B.C. the focus for Liberal leader Falcon at Kelowna Chamber lunch

B.C. Liberal leader says NDP needs more accountability

B.C. Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon touched on affordable housing, the cost of living, health care and crime during a speech at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce lunch on Monday (Jun. 27).

He told the crowd that the NDP is failing British Columbians in every category.

“Housing is not getting cheaper, gas is not getting cheaper,” said Falcon. “Our streets are not getting safer, the opioid, overdose problem is not getting better.”

If we don’t hold the government to account then we’re not doing our jobs, Falcon added.

“We have the highest housing prices in North America right here in British Columbia,” he said. “Third highest on the planet.”

Falcon said the NDP has finally figured out that supply is the problem when it comes to housing in B.C., and it will take all levels of government to solve it.

“But we’ve got to be aligned, and we’ve got to be focused on results.”

Falcon also challenged the NDP regarding their record on affordability for British Columbians.

“The challenge we have in B.C. right now is 46 per cent of families are $200 away from being able to meet their monthly budget. The rise in fuel prices isn’t making it any easier. We have to think about how we make everything affordable for families.”

He then brought $10 a daycare into the conversation, and said the Liberals don’t view it as a social program, but as an economic development initiative. Falcon said the NDP believes daycare seats need to be government-owned and run, with no involvement from the private sector.

“The private sector has been delivering most of the new seats,” he added. “If you’re going to get to $10 daycare you’re going to need to have a lot more seats available.”

The Liberal leader then talked about crime, noted that more street crime and social chaos are taking place throughout the province, and criticized the NDP’s plan to have consultants study the issues and develop recommendations.

“If somebody came to me with a problem that has been festering that long and said my solution is I want to study it for four more months, I’d fire that person on the spot,” he said. “The problem is there is no accountability in this government for results.”

Falcon also said the government needs to look after those with mental health issues.

“That doesn’t mean buying hotels and motels, overpaying for them, and stuffing people in them with very little supports and pretending you’re solving the problem.”

Falcon added people who are severely mentally ill and genuinely require help need to be compassionately removed from the streets, put into mandatory care and be properly looked after so that they are not a danger to themselves or others.

Health care is another category Falcon says the NDP is failing.

“The premier correctly describes our health care system as ‘crumbling and teetering’ and he’s absolutely right. Right now, one in five British Columbians cannot access a family doctor.”

He pointed out B.C. has the longest wait times at walk-in clinics in Canada. Falcon added that even though the next provincial election is set for Oct. 2024, given the NDP’s election call in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberals are planning as if there might be an election next spring.

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