Time and time again, our BC United Caucus has voiced concerns about British Columbians grappling with the ongoing affordability crisis. Under the NDP, middle-class families continue to feel the squeeze, with farmers and ranchers bearing the weight of added costs and failed policies.

Family-run farms, operating for generations, now face the harsh reality that profitability may no longer be sustainable. Treasured legacies may be forced to close, leaving our agricultural sector in limbo, as the province houses fewer farms than ever before.

The cost of hay continues to rise, adding to the affordability and availability crisis, and jeopardizing B.C.’s food security. Our unique position in global competition, contending with countries like the U.S., Mexico, Central, and South America, puts B.C. farmers on uneven playing fields.

Climate constraints mean most farms produce only one crop annually. Droughts and wildfires escalate, causing crop failures and questioning the viability of future growing seasons.

Farmers face soaring land costs and taxes. They deserve a government committed to lowering everyday costs, supporting family legacies, and ensuring food supply. Kevin Falcon and our BC United Caucus propose common-sense tax reforms, including the removal of the carbon tax on on-farm fuel use and permanent elimination of the provincial fuel tax. These changes offer substantial savings for drivers and reduce operational costs for farmers.

Eliminating the carbon tax for on-farm fuel use makes farming more sustainable. Lower production costs lead to reduced food costs, aiding families in putting food on their table.

While life in B.C. is increasingly unaffordable, the government can implement steps to manage added costs. David Eby’s NDP government must acknowledge its role in driving down costs, rather than attributing issues solely to global inflation. Making life more affordable means making it less expensive—a simple yet crucial step.

Jackie Tegart is the MLA for Fraser-Nicola.