VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay–Gordon Head, expects tomorrow’s Provincial Budget to reflect recent comments made by Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Mike de Jong on reforming MSP premiums and housing affordability in the lower mainland.
“The B.C. Green Party has put forward strong ideas for reforming MSP premiums and improving the housing crisis in the lower mainland,” Weaver said. “Premier Clark and Minister de Jong have both spoken favourably of these initiatives, and we expect the budget to reflect those statements. A real opposition party works collaboratively to create positive change for British Columbians, and when we reach common ground, we expect to see these policies enacted.”
Weaver has called repeatedly for MSP reform that would turn a regressive one-size-fits-all tax into a progressive system based on a person’s income. Last week, Clark admitted that B.C.’s MSP system “is antiquated, it is old, and the way people pay for it generally doesn’t make a whole tonne of sense”, while acknowledging that her government didn’t intent to undertake wholesale change.
Weaver has also challenged the government for more than two years to take meaningful action on the Vancouver housing crisis. Last week, he tabled a private member's bill and brought forward three recommendations. In response, de Jong said “I am cautiously optimistic that when the member has an opportunity to see some of the provisions of the budget … he will find at least some aspects of that document … that will respond to some of the concerns that he’s outlined today.”
Weaver looks forward to reviewing the budget to ensure it does indeed address the concerns that British Columbians have with MSP premiums and the lower mainland housing crisis.
Weaver will be available for comment in the Legislature after the Budget Speech.
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Mat Wright, Press Secretary
Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
1 250 216 3382