Premier Christy Clark visited a Burnaby Board of Trade luncheon Thursday, to deliver a speech about the 2013 provincial budget to a crowd of roughly 225 people.
Clark kicked off her speech by announcing two new Liberal candidates for Burnaby: Jeff Kuah in Burnaby-Edmonds and Shian Gu in Burnaby-Deer Lake.
Clark said it takes years of hard work to build an economy and cautioned the crowd about ruining it.
“Let’s not squander what we’ve created, because we are at a crossroads in British Columbia,” she said.
Clark reviewed several fiscal plan highlights but warned that there was no “money falling off the back of a truck.”
“But there’s a reason for that: You only send us so much money, and we’re not going to spend more than you send us,” she told the crowd.
Clark’s balanced budget relies on controlled government spending, economic growth bringing in some revenue, and targeted tax measures, including a one per cent increase in the corporate income tax.
Clark also thanked public sector workers who have taken a zero per cent wage increase for the past four years. Clark said a one per cent increase, would have cost the government half a billion dollars. Clark also spoke of natural gas revenues, which she wants to use to form a “prosperity fund.”
“It’s going to absolutely transform our economy. It’s going to put tens of thousands of British Columbians to work for decades,” she said. “That Asian middle class is growing. … They are hungry for energy, and they are hungry for cleaner energy than what they’re burning today.”
Clark wrapped up her talk, hinting at the upcoming election.
“I believe in you,” she said, addressing the audience, “the power of the private sector to build a future for our kids.”