BC United leader Kevin Falcon wants to change the way politics are played out in British Columbia.
After speaking to party faithful in the qathet region on June 6, Falcon, in an interview, said the key message that he is trying to get across is the importance of having a government that knows how to get results.
“The results we are getting right now from the NDP government are some of the worst we’ve ever seen in the history of our province,” said Falcon. “In health care, one out of every five British Columbians cannot access a doctor, we have a million people on wait lists trying to see a specialist, and to where we are now reduced to sending 20 per cent of our cancer patients south to Bellingham [Washington] to get care from the private US health-care system. The last time that happened was the last time the NDP were in power.
“This is a classic example, in health care, of lack of good results.”
Falcon said the same thing is happening in housing. He said after six years of NDP governments, British Columbians are facing the highest housing prices in North America and the highest average rent in Canada. He added that of the 114,000 houses the NDP promised to build in 10 years, only a fraction have been built and the government is in the sixth year of its 10-year plan.
“Clearly, they are not going to come close to meeting that goal,” said Falcon.
Regarding crime, Falcon said BC’s streets are less safe today.
“After six years of NDP government, we’ve got untreated mental health and addiction issues spiralling out of control,” said Falcon. ”There is also the very reckless decriminalization program that has decriminalized drugs like heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine without any guardrails, to the point where we literally cannot get them to at least put restrictions on open drug use in parks, playgrounds and beaches. They just refuse to make that change. I’m going to continue to push on that.
“I’m hearing from parents right across the province about those issues.”
Falcon said the bottom line is that the results from this government are very poor.
“If we want to see different results we have to have a different government,” said Falcon. “We have to have some people with some background and competencies in the private sector that know how to get big things done and know how to manage large, complex organizations, which government is. That, I think, is our big selling feature to the public.”
Falcon said BC United rolled out its first major public policy on mental health and addictions and received good feedback. He said a lot of the public instinctively know his party is on the right path.
“This idea of publicly supplied addictive drugs and giving out free drugs to people who are struggling with addiction makes no sense at all and it’s not working,” said Falcon. “The evidence is really clear that way.”
Falcon said BC United is continuing to work on policies on health care and housing. He said he has to be very strategic when he rolls them out because what he has noticed with the NDP government is that it is bankrupt of ideas and so desperate for direction and help, that if he puts too many items out there, they will be stolen.
“To a certain degree I want to be cautious about that,” said Falcon.
With regard to housing, Falcon said when almost half the population is $200 a month or less away from not being able to meet the family budget, that’s a real concern.
“This government does not believe ideologically in reducing costs to the public or reducing taxes,” he added. “Affordability, to me, means actually making it more affordable for people to live in this province. That means reducing their costs and the expenses that government imposes on them.”
Falcon said he worries about a whole generation of young people and their ability to afford accommodation.
“What I want young people to understand is they have to ignore the government and their promises and look at what outcomes they are actually getting,” said Falcon. “We need to change that.”
Falcon said with the provincial financial surplus, he has never seen such a disastrous approach to spending money over the 90-day period where the NDP was trying to spend more than $5 billion of a one-time surplus that was created by a one-time circumstance where they received a very favourable recalculation from the federal government that provided the windfall.
“I don’t mind spending some money on things that are clearly needed, but to see the way they spent that money without much thought or thinking is appalling to me,” said Falcon. “We’ll continue to pay the price for that.”
Falcon said in working to form government, BC United is attracting outstanding candidates, such as Elenore Sturko, a former RCMP officer, who won the Surrey South byelection in 2022.
“That shocked everyone, and the NDP especially,” said Falcon.
“Politics is a game of momentum. The more momentum you build, that’s how you form government. Coming to Powell River and seeing a room jammed like it was today is extremely encouraging for me. It shows people are open to listening to some kind of alternative.”