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.
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.
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.