The BC Green Party has finally released its full platform ahead of the BC Election on May 9, promising increases in the minimum wage, and a basic guaranteed income pilot.
As expected, the party makes plenty of pledges about the environment, but also addresses many other issues, including affordability, housing, education, the tech sector, and transit.
Among the affordability measures proposed is setting up an arm’s-length fair wages commission to address the gap between minimum wages and liveable wages.
As well, the party is promising to build 4,000 new units of affordable housing per year, expand the foreign buyers’ tax to 30%, and legislate more to protect renters.
The BC Greens also plan to make property transfer tax more progressive, starting at 2% for property worth between $200,000 and $1 million, up to 12% for $3 million+ properties.
On health matters, the BC Greens plan to roll MSP payments into personal income tax to try to make them fairer and more progressive.
Free daycare, higher carbon tax
The BC Greens are also promising free daycare for working parents with kids under three, and up to $500/month for families with kids under three and a stay-at-home parent.
For post-secondary students, there would be needs-based grants available, and tax forgiveness for up to five years to help eligible students repay their debts.
To support the tech sector, the BC Greens would set up an Innovation Commission and establish an Emerging Economy Taskforce to push the industry forward.
As well, over four years, they would provide $35 million over four years for tech talent and $120 million for partnerships to support the commercialization of climate friendly tech.
- BC Liberal Party platform released for Election 2017
- BC NDP platform released for Election 2017
- If you could ask Christy Clark, John Horgan, and Andrew Weaver anything, what would you ask?
On environmental matters, the party is planning to increase carbon tax by $10 per year for four years beginning January 1, 2018.
Meanwhile, they are also planning to suspend work on the Massey Tunnel replacement, and support the Mayors’ 10-year plan to upgrade Metro Vancouver’s transportation system.
In terms of governance and party politics, they are planning to ban any contributions from corporations, unions and non-residents of BC.
As well, they would introduce proportional representation, lower the voting age to 16 and move provincial elections to October.
More BC Greens promises
The BC Greens make a whole range of other promises in their platform. Here are a few more highlights:
- $10 million/year for in service skills training for workers in small- and medium-sized businesses
- retraining for workers losing their jobs due to automation or changing markets
- $65 million over four years for co-op and work experience programs
- $20 million/year for ideation and mentoring in tech
- $70 million over four years to help leverage seed and angel tech funding
- $50 million for tech business incubators
- increasing the Persons with Disabilities (PWD), income assistance and shelter allowance rates by 10% in 2017, rising to 50% by 2020.
- basic income support for youth aged 18 to 24 aging out of foster care
- $205/month for low income families
- increasing the tax rate for those earning over $108,460/year by 1% in 2017/18, rising to 3% in 2020/21
- requiring retailers and other sellers to display tax-included prices
- proposing an essential drugs program to reduce the costs of prescription drugs
- establishing a Ministry for mental health and addictions
- $80 million for early intervention, youth mental health, supervised injections sites, and community-based centres for mental health and rehabilitation.
- immediate response to the fentanyl crisis based on investing in treatment on demand, drug substitution, and early-warning monitoring systems
- placing annual limits on individual donations to political parties
- banning government members from partisan fundraising activities while in office
- $80 million over four years in green transportation infrastructure
- $25 million per year to address frequency of transit service and affordable fares
- extra $152 million in capital transport expenditures
- a rational tolling system to manage congestion
- amortization of the cost of the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges
- making BC Ferries a Crown Corporation again
- reforming the governance of the oil and gas sector
- up to $28 million over four years for facilities in BC’s parks
- new greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% reduction below 2007 levels by 2030
- balancing the budget on average over their four-year mandate
- introducing a law requiring future governments to do the same
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