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Premier’s statement on the new year

Press Release

VICTORIA – Premier David Eby has issued the following new year’s statement:

“The new year is a time to reflect on the past, celebrate our successes and set our intentions for the future.

“This year, people in British Columbia have demonstrated incredible strength, resilience and compassion in the wake of what, for many, has been a tough year.

“I think of the firefighters who protected people and communities in what was our worst wildfire season ever; those who lost their homes and had their communities and livelihoods threatened; and the people who stepped up to help those who were evacuated. I think of those who are struggling to put food on the table due to global inflation. There are teachers and support staff who have been standing up for their students in the face of rising hate, homophobia and transphobia. And I think of everyone who gave generously to make the holidays brighter for their neighbours by lending a helping hand, delivering a warm meal or offering comfort. When times are tough, British Columbians are there for each other.

“Our government is there for you, too.

“We have made a lot of progress on tackling the biggest challenges we are all facing and we are going to keep the momentum going next year.

“People want a little help with the rising cost of living due to global inflation and rising interest rates. This year, our government responded by making contraceptives free, reducing child care fees, permanently increasing the BC Family Benefit, raising the minimum wage, freezing heating costs at BC Hydro, offering free breakfast for kids at school and capping rent increases below inflation.

“People want a decent home they can afford in a community they love. In 2023, our government delivered thousands of affordable homes and passed a historic and transformational package of legislation that represents a generational shift and is expected to deliver hundreds of thousands more homes over the next decade.

“People want access to high-quality health care close to home. We’ve made this easier for people this year by adding thousands of doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals to our workforce; continuing work on new hospitals and cancer centres; and making it easier for internationally educated health-care workers to live and work here. We know we have much more to do.

“People want their kids and grandkids to be able to build good lives in B.C. This year, we continued implementing one of the strongest climate-action plans on the continent and leading Canada’s post-pandemic recovery among big provinces. B.C. added more than 56,300 jobs in 2023 and had the highest wages and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. We also launched our Future Ready Action Plan to help more people get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in our growing clean economy.

“People also want to live in a fair, just and inclusive society. In 2023, we continued working with Indigenous Peoples to build meaningful and long-lasting partnerships that raise all boats economically and socially. We also acted quickly to condemn rising acts of hate and support those affected, took steps to help close the gender wage gap and continued developing anti-racism legislation to create more equitable access to government programs and services.

“The past few years have shown us that going it alone doesn’t work. We are stronger when we work together and put people at the heart of every choice we make. In 2024, my intent is for British Columbians to see improvement in their communities and their lives.

“Tonight, my family and I will share our hopes for 2024 and count down to the new year. My goals include continuing to work hard to make life better for people in B.C. and being a present and supportive husband and father. This is more important than ever as my wife Cailey and I look forward to welcoming a new addition to our family this coming year. Like many families with young kids, tonight we’ll watch the ball drop on Eastern time, because getting more sleep is always a good resolution – especially before the new baby arrives!

“I wish everyone in B.C. a happy new year and a wonderful 2024 ahead!”

Contact:

Jimmy Smith
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
jimmy.smith@gov.bc.ca

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