VICTORIA B.C. – Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, unveiled the party’s platform on electoral reform today. Weaver will be available for media interviews on the platform today in Victoria:
WHEN: 2:00PM today, April 17, 2017
WHERE: Redfern Park, 1700 Leighton Road, Victoria.
“After decades of broken promises, British Columbians have lost trust in their government – and rightfully so,” said Weaver. “Career politicians have put their own interests ahead of the interests of British Columbians, allowing corporations and lobbyists to gain undue influence. We have a duty to regain that trust and to demonstrate through action that the government is there to serve British Columbians – not politicians.”
The democratic reform platform consists of four planks: Political Finance Reform, Lobbying Reform, Electoral Reform and Transparency and Accountability. It includes commitments to:
Establish a public watchdog to oversee government advertising and communications;
Prohibit cabinet ministers from engaging in partisan fundraising activities;
Impose a multi-year prohibition on lobbying for former senior public office holders;
Introduce proportional representation;
Ban corporate, union and out-of-province donations and place limits on individual contributions that are in-line with current federal limits;
Establish a Provincial Budget Officer to provide independent and objective analysis to the Legislative Assembly on the state of the province’s finances, the government’s estimates and economic trends.
The B.C. Green Party’s democratic reform plank comes as both the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP have been heavily criticised for holding cash-for-access fundraisers and accepting millions of dollars in donations from corporations and unions. The RCMP is currently investigating a series of potentially illegal political contributions made by lobbyists that were uncovered by a recent Globe and Mail investigation.
“We need to restore people’s faith in government,” says Weaver. “Both of the other parties have allowed the integrity of BC politics to wear so thin that it’s no wonder people don’t trust politicians. We believe trust is earned through actions. That’s why we banned corporate and union donations when no one else would. We will take that same approach if British Columbians entrust us to form government.”
The B.C. Green Party is the only major B.C. political party to have banned corporate and union donations, opting to fund the election campaign on individual contributions alone. Since the ban was introduced in September, the party’s fundraising as grown exponentially.
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