VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus responded today to the 2019 Speech from the Throne.
“We are pleased the Throne Speech recognized the important work that has been achieved on the priority initiatives outlined in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the B.C. Greens and the BC NDP,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party. “In particular we are glad that it highlighted the importance of CleanBC as British Columbia responds to the challenges and opportunities offered by climate change.
“However, we are concerned by the apparent lack of broader vision outlined in this speech,” said Weaver. “Trying to be all things to all people leads to contradictory legislation and puts the focus on short term policy instead of long term outcomes.
“Although we are pleased to see CleanBC highlighted, the government’s praising of LNG immediately undercut its point,” Weaver added. “Economic opportunity and ecological stewardship are not mutually exclusive, but this government is focusing on short term investments that will exacerbate climate change, impacting our economy, environment, and the wellbeing of our communities for years to come.”
This year’s Throne Speech referenced important investments in childcare and education, addressing affordability, and improving transportation services. These issues are all important to British Columbians, but issues that were overlooked in the speech underscored the government’s focus on short-term gains rather than establishing a long-term vision for British Columbia.
“British Columbians need to be able to trust that their government is prepared for the future. Investing in education and childcare is central to a healthy and prosperous future for BC,” said MLA Sonia Furstenau. “This government has taken important steps towards improving the services that children and families depend on, yet there was no vision articulated for how to create immediate solutions to the urgent issue of the over-representation of Indigenous children in government care.”
British Columbia’s ecology is critical to the identity and economy of our province. The government must act as a steward of sustainability to ensure the long-term well being of our province.
“Wild salmon have immense cultural, economic, and ecological value for British Columbians. I am glad that this was recognized in the Speech from the Throne,” said MLA Olsen, whose advocacy on wild salmon led to the establishment of the Wild Salmon Advisory Council last year. “With the work of the Wild Salmon Advisory Council now complete, I expect government to get to work and actually start implementing its recommendations - starting with habitat protection and restoration.”
The B.C. Green Caucus anticipates that CleanBC will be fully funded in the government’s budget next week and will continue to hold government to account to ensure that a long term vision is articulated for British Columbians.
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