B.C. voters have spoken: Economy matters most

letter to the editor fromLaura Jones, executive vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

To the editor;

The night before the election a colleague quipped that it will be nice to stop talking about red lights and orange ties and get back to focusing on the substantive issues that people care about. The economy tops the list.

But before we leave the election behind, I would like to add my thanks to all the men and women who ran for office. You do us proud. Election nights and the days following remind us what a privilege it is to live in a free society where ideas get debated and people get a free vote.

The people who run for office deserve special thanks for making this possible. Running for office, like playing hockey, is a tough zero-sum game.

The pollsters got a lot wrong. The media didn’t call this election either.

But there was one barometer of the public mood that proved accurate: A pre-election survey of small business owners.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business surveyed more than 1,000 small businesses in March on their support for possible policy commitments that leaders might make.

Support for keeping the budget balanced, paying down government debt and not increasing taxes exceeded ninety per cent.

A question on resource development showed a strong majority support; further developing the province’s resources with appropriate environmental safeguards in place.

Small business owners are often a good barometer of public sentiment and these economic issues clearly were important to many British Columbians.

The Liberals made a number of strong commitments around the economy, including sticking to balancing the budget and introducing tougher penalties for ministers who miss budget targets, allocating 50 per cent of future surplus revenues to debt reduction and working toward eliminating the debt.

Now some advice for the new government: Stick to your commitments, keep your eyes squarely on the economy and do not take small business for granted.

Going into the election, a shocking 76 per cent of small businesses did not believe their priorities would receive attention during the election. It’s nice that in many ways they were proven wrong by all parties.

But this sentiment reflects, in part, many recent policy decisions that have been very costly for small businesses, including the introduction of a new statutory holiday, three increases to the minimum wage and transitioning to the HST and then back to the PST.

Some pundits are already chalking this election up to charisma triumphing over bookish manner.

But give the electorate some credit.

Lipstick doesn’t win elections, ideas do.

Now that the election is in the rear view mirror, it’s time to make sure the government sticks to the economic ideas that have proven so popular.

Laura Jones

 

Executive vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

 

 

Just Posted

Barriere Bottle Depot signage vandalized

Barriere RCMP say they are currently investigating two incidents of mischief against… Continue reading

TNRD director accuses Tiny House Warriors of harassment

Blue River director Stephen Quinn said the actions of the pipeline protesters need to be addressed

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Drinking water advisory issued for infants in Barriere

District of Barriere advises water from the municipal system should not be used as drinking water for certain at risk populations, specifically bottle-fed infants due to levels of manganese

Special Council Meeting held May 13 in Barriere regarding current water situation

A Special Council Meeting of the District of Barriere Municipal Council was… Continue reading

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read