Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun
… Against that backdrop of tight finances, Clark and her B.C. Liberal government struggled Monday to say something encouraging about health, education, social services and other government programs while avoiding big-ticket spending commitments….
The alternative? “Government will facilitate a process for collective agreement improvements by working with ministries and employer groups to find savings through cooperative gains. The government will be asking public sector employers, unions and employees to join in this process.”…
In the most widely publicized example, the Hospital Employees Union managed to secure raises of three to seven per cent for licensed practical nurses by trading away some benefits and other contract provisions….
Overall, for the first throne speech by a new premier in 10 years, the end product was underwhelming.
“Out of gas, out of ideas,” was the characterization from Opposition leader Adrian Dix. But being out of money had more to do with it.