VICTORIA, B.C. – The BC NDP government’s 2020 budget makes positive incremental investments in shared priorities but falls short of seizing BC’s unique opportunity to build an equitable and sustainable future.
“We are pleased to see many core B.C. Green and CASA initiatives, including the post-secondary access grant, maintaining CleanBC funding, and improving access to affordable early childhood education,” said Adam Olsen, interim leader of the B.C. Green Party, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.
“However, it isn’t enough to make life more affordable. Now is the time to go all-in on transitioning to a clean economy that has equity and sustainability at its core. What is missing from this budget is a coherent economic strategy to create prosperity and position us for success in an era of unprecedented change.
“Increasingly, we are concerned that this government is trying to have it both ways – for instance, it wants to be seen as a climate leader while also expanding the fossil fuel sector. This province’s economic opportunity is not to be the cleanest polluter, but to lean into building a low carbon economy driven by clean technologies and innovation.
Missing from the budget are any significant new strategic investments in innovation. The largest portion of new spending in CleanBC is allocated to a program that reduces the carbon tax paid by heavy-emitting industries, without any guarantee of overall emissions reductions.
“By pursuing conflicting agendas, the government's ability to achieve long term prosperity for our province will be limited. Government has to make smarter, more courageous choices that will allow us to meet our targets and embrace new opportunities for economic prosperity, rather than spending significant time and resources to protect the status quo.”