Platform 2017

This platform has been developed with input from many British Columbians who have come forward with a wide range of ideas, comments, issues and concerns. We have extracted themes and positions from the submissions to help us form the overarching direction of the party. We are truly grateful for their vision, commitment and engagement in the democratic process.

The BC Green Platform demonstrates our distinct perspective. We need to do more than tinker with current ideas. We believe we need a fundamentally different philosophy of government.

In a democratic society, representatives are elected by the people to represent them – not the corporations or the special interest groups. For more than 30 years we have had governments focused on maximizing returns to private corporations rather than the wellbeing of British Columbians. We will change that.

Our platform sets out our philosophy, our vision and the actions we will take to enrich the lives of all British Columbians. We are enthusiastic about an innovative and sustainable private sector and we know the health and wellbeing of British Columbians is inextricably linked to the economy. However, government should ensure that people are not just a factor of production, working for the economy, but that the economy is working for people.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the BC Greens.

A B.C. Green government will:

  • Respect court decisions, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the resolution of Aboriginal Rights and Title issues;
  • Implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

A BC Green government will:

  • Match federal funding for the Mayors' 10-Year Metro Vancouver Transportation Plan;

  • Suspend work on the Massey Tunnel replacement pending a comprehensive and transparent review of alternatives;
  • Increase transit funding by $25 million to increase service and reduce fares;
  • Support the transition to electric vehicles with new charging infrastructure.

A BC Green government will:

  • Re-establish the integrity of the Environmental Assessment process
  • Implement new guidelines for the use of qualified professionals that eliminate the potential for conflict of interest
  • Identify old-growth forest reserves and protect them
  • Engage in meaningful consultation and engagement that respects indigenous resource rights and title

A BC Green government will:

  • Establish a ministry responsible for healthy living, wellness and preventative medicine
  • Develop an Essential Drugs program to reduce the cost of prescription drugs
  • Create a ministry for mental health and addictions
  • Support seniors and others who need assistance to live in their own homes
  • Add $100 million over 4 years to hire and support more social workers

A BC Green government will:

  • Begin the transition to liveable incomes with an increase in Persons with Disabilities (PWD), income assistance and shelter allowance rates.
  • Introduce a basic income support for youth aged 18 to 24 who are transitioning out of foster care
  • Launch a basic income pilot project that will test its ability to reduce poverty, improve health, housing and employment
  • Establish an arm's-length fair wages commission to recommend a new minimum wage and oversee regular rate reviews
  • Eliminate Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums by rolling them into the payroll tax and personal income tax

A BC Green government will:

  • Introduce measures to eliminate money laundering and property speculation
  • Implement a provincial housing plan for affordable rental accommodation
  • Invest up to $750 million per year to create approx. 4,000 units of affordable housing per year
  • Update the Residential Tenancy Act to protect renters

A BC Green government will provide:
  • Free preschool for 3- and 4-year olds
  • Free daycare for children up to age 3 with working parents
  • Up to $500/month for families with a stay-at-home parent and a child up to age 2

A BC Green government will:
  • Increase funding for our public education system over four years from $250 million to $1.5 billion
  • Invest $35 million into public education learning-readiness initiatives such as meal programs
  • Provide $140 million over three years to train teachers to effectively deliver the new K-12 curriculum

A BC Green government will:
  • Implement needs-based grants for post-secondary students
  • Offer tax forgiveness of up to $2,000/year for up to 5 years to assist graduates in repaying debt from tuition fees
  • Set up a Post-Secondary Education Task Force to identify ways to make post-secondary education more relevant, accessible and affordable
  • Invest $65 million over 4 years to support co-op and work experience programs for high school and undergraduate students

In 2008, B.C. became a global leader in climate action. The province developed a bold climate action plan to meet ambitious targets, guided by experts. It was grounded in science, based on reliable evidence and included a suite of measures that were predicted to take B.C. well over halfway to meeting its targets.
 
Under Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberal government, B.C. has moved backwards. Of Canada’s four most populous provinces, only B.C. is projected to increase its emissions by 2030. The Clark government has frozen the price of carbon, ignored the recommendations of their own Climate Leadership Team and left the cleantech sector out to dry with no support. They have invested heavily in LNG and approved oil pipelines, hinging B.C.’s economic future on the sunset industry of fossil fuels.
 
British Columbians have been left without much credible opposition on the climate front. In 2009, the B.C. NDP ran on “axe the tax,” and they support new fossil fuel projects like LNG. In 2017, their climate plan only commits to doing what is required by the federal government, and does not include a concrete plan for achieving their targets for 2030.
 
Climate change is not just an environmental issue. Acting on climate is about positioning B.C. to succeed in the emerging economy of the future and the world that we will leave for our children.
 
We have a moral imperative to leave the world better off than we found it. If we don’t, future generations will ask why B.C., one of the places that had the most opportunity to be a leader on climate change, refused to act.

A B.C. Green government will take bold action on climate change that will position B.C. to be a leader in the low-carbon economy.

British Columbia is fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources. We have access to fertile agricultural land, clean water and renewable sources of energy.
 
However, many British Columbians might be surprised to learn that we source 70 percent of our vegetables from the United States. Half of that comes from California, where the agricultural sector is under strain from extreme weather events like droughts and, more recently, flooding.
 
Across the world, as the effects of climate change take hold, food security is projected to become a major issue. To ensure the long-term food security of the people of BC, we must develop an agricultural sector that can provide for us all.
 
However, the agricultural sector in BC has not been getting the support that it needs. Total farm area in British Columbia decreased 7.9% between 2006 and 2011 to 6.5 million acres.
 
BC agriculture also faces labour issues. There were nearly 30,000 farm operators in B.C. in 2011. But, worryingly, the average age of farm operators was over 55, and less than 6% were under the age of 35.

A business environment for the new economy
Growing sustainable enterprises in BC
Encouraging emerging opportunities

The economy will be a major issue in the 2017 B.C. provincial election, with the incumbent B.C Liberal government running primarily on the strength of the province’s economic performance. However, the B.C. Liberal’s measures of success — GDP growth and job creation — paint an incomplete economic picture. It ignores that GDP growth has been driven by a red-hot, but limited housing market, that the benefits of this growth have primarily gone to the already-wealthy, and that the jobs that have been created are frequently part-time, insecure and unevenly distributed throughout the province.

A BC Green government will:

  • Introduce a proportional voting system in time for the 2021 provincial general election
  • Introduce legislation to establish a Provincial Budget Officer
  • Ban members of the Cabinet from engaging in partisan fundraising activities to address unethical cash-for-access events
  • Institute a multi-year prohibition on lobbying for former Senior Public Office Holders
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