Letter: Celebrating Labour Day

For the first time in 16 years, B.C. workers have much to celebrate on Labour Day.

Both the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Green Party campaigned for a government that would make life more affordable, fix the services people count on, create jobs, act on climate change, and build a sustainable economy that works for everyone.

Now, with a new NDP government, supported by the province’s Green Party, some important steps have already been taken to improve the lives of working people, their families, and those who rely on social assistance benefits.

Premier John Horgan’s first order of business was to announce a long overdue $100 per month hike to welfare and disability rates. Plus, he re-committed to raising the province’s minimum wage to $15 over a four-year period.

Moreover, the NDP have also restored free adult basic education and English language learning classes, and repeated their plan to eliminate interest from the provincial portion of B.C. student loans and introduce completion grants for graduating students.

The government has also made changes at the Labour Relations Board, aimed at restoring balance between labour and employer representatives.

For those who work with seniors, both the NDP and Green Party are fully committed to improving staffing levels in our residential care homes.

And finally, after a 15-year absence, government will restore B.C.’s. Human Rights Commission, bringing us back into line with every other province.

All this is welcome news to our members and their families. We know there’s a lot more to do. British Columbians have suffered under policies that have damaged health care, social services, decent jobs, education, the environment and more.

But following this Labour Day, let’s take a moment to celebrate a new direction for British Columbians.

Jennifer Whiteside, HEU