This is the season of lofty promises from our provincial leaders.
From Monday’s Speech from the Throne in the B.C. Legislature, to the budget and fiscal plan on Feb. 21, we’re going to hear a lot about how the province will tackle the myriad problems we face.
You’ve heard about them all for years – the housing crisis, the overdose and toxic drug crisis, inflation and the rising cost of living, and of course, the overstretched health-care system and the lack of family doctors.
The government has, and will again, promise to tackle all of these.
It can hardly do otherwise.
If any government failed to promise some legislative solution or wad of new spending for each and every one of these areas, they’d be skinned alive.
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But these problems go back years. None of them are likely to be solved entirely in a single legislative session. We can hope that the first ministers meeting underway this week delivers aid on health care. We can hope that decriminalization and more funding for treatment helps the drug crisis. We can hope for a housing policy that helps rein in the still-absurd cost of a home.
But we can’t expect any of them to be solved.
Maybe these are problems that are, by their very nature, intractable. Some of them may be literally impossible to solve – there is no magic number of doctors and nurses that will create a perfect health-care system, after all. A perfect system just doesn’t exist.
But it would be nice if Premier David Eby’s government could really make some solid progress on at least one of these fronts by the end of the year.
If just one thing worked out – a plunge in toxic drug deaths, thousands of new affordable homes, immigrant doctors being accredited – it would feel like we might actually solve these other hard problems, finally.