Premiers’ New Year’s messages talk economic improvement, health care, cost of living

THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER – Premiers across the country used their New Year’s messages to emphasize everything from housing and affordability to healthy lifestyles.

In his first New Year’s message as premier of British Columbia, David Eby says he’s honoured to celebrate the successes of 2022 “including the remarkable economic recovery in our province as we come out of the pandemic.” But he acknowledged challenges related to housing, health care and the cost of living.

He says 2023 will include steps towards building a province where people can an afford a good home, feel safe and get access to a family doctor.

Alberta’s Danielle Smith, who is also marking her first New Year’s as premier, says the province’s economy has bounced back from serious challenges and is showing signs of strength.

She says the government is moving quickly to ease the affordability crisis, improve access to health care and stand fast with other provinces against federal overreach.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says his province has a lot to be optimistic for in 2023 as it starts year by indexing personal income tax at the rate of inflation.

In his message, Ontario Premier Doug Ford touts the province’s progress on infrastructure construction and moves to help with the cost of living including scrapping licence plate sticker fees, removing some highways tolls and extending gas and fuel tax rate cuts.

In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault says Quebecers are lucky to live somewhere beautiful and safe, where residents help each other when things get difficult.

Legault wishes residents good health in 2023 and is encouraging them to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and to play sports.

Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane encouraged people to “recommit to doing all we can to support one another in 2023, and work to improve the lives of all those around us through kindness and generosity.”