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MLA's Report: Affordability and rising costs top of mind

The family doctor shortage is a complex problem that requires a series of complex solutions
Ian Paton headshot profile
Delta South MLA Ian Paton.

With most COVID-19 measures having been eased, we are in a period of adjustment for many members of our community.

For some, relaxing public health orders could not come soon enough. For others, this all may be rolling out at too rapid of a pace. Regardless of your perspective, it’s important to continue showing compassion for one another and respecting everyone’s individual choices.

Our entire community should be incredibly proud of the fact we have one of the highest rates of vaccination in the province. Thankfully, our local economy has been able to recover, and we all can enjoy the return to some semblance of normalcy.

Despite this good news, there remains several key concerns that I have been raising alongside my Official Opposition colleagues in Victoria. Most notably, is the nearly one million British Columbians without a family doctor.

This issue was first brought to my attention back in 2017, when I was first elected to serve the riding of Delta South. Since then, the problem has continued to worsen. While the government has been busy opening urgent primary care centres across the province, wait times at these clinics have also significantly worsened with multiple hour-long waits for residents requiring immediate attention.

The family doctor shortage is a complex problem that requires a series of complex solutions. As a member of the Official Opposition, I feel it is important for the government to take good ideas and utilize them regardless of their origin. We’re calling on Premier Horgan to take the partisanship out of this issue and meaningfully address the shortage we’re facing in this province.

Another source of concern is the province’s recent decision to apply an increase to the PST on the sale of used vehicles. In the government’s own budget from February, it says this move will have a profoundly negative impact on middle to low-income families and individuals.

If you happen to find a great deal on a used car for $8,500, when you visit ICBC the clerk may inform you the assessed value of the vehicle is in fact $12,000 and you will be required to pay the additional $420 in tax. Effectively, the government is now setting the price of used vehicles in the province of British Columbia.

At a time where the costs of food, gas, and housing are all skyrocketing, I am deeply disappointed in the government’s decision to dump extra costs onto middle to low-income British Columbians. The Official Opposition tabled an amendment that would exempt the PST on used vehicles assessed at under $20,000, however the NDP government used their majority to defeat it.

Affordability and the rising costs of living continue to be at the top of my mind. As your MLA, I will continue raising these concerns and fighting for measures that ease the financial burden placed on families and individuals in our community.