Here is the full agreement signed by the BC NDP with the BC Greens, with the intention of forming a minority BC government, as of Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus
This agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus is effective _______, 2017, for four years, or until the next fixed date election as set by the BC Constitution Act.
Section 1 – Foundation of Relationship
This agreement establishes the basis for which the BC Green Caucus will provide confidence in a BC New Democrat Government. It is not intended to lay out the full program of a New Democrat Government, nor is it intended to presume BC Green support for initiatives not found within this agreement.
Both the BC New Democrats and the BC Greens campaigned for a government that put people at the centre of their decision-making. Our policy proposals included many points of agreement, including:
- Making democracy work for people
- Creating jobs, acting on climate change, and building a sustainable economy that works for everyone
- Fixing the services people count on
- Making life more affordable for people
This agreement sets out a new relationship between the two parties, founded on the principle of “good faith and no surprises”.
Both parties agree that the legislature works best when all MLAs are able to put forward good ideas – and come together – to support those that advance the public good.
Subject to the terms of this agreement, we undertake that:
- Should the Lieutenant Governor invite the Leader of the BC New Democrats to form a new government, this agreement will continue until the next scheduled election.
- The Leader of the New Democrats will not request a dissolution of the Legislature during the term of this agreement, except following the defeat of a motion of confidence.
- The BC Green MLAs will neither move, nor vote non-confidence during the term of this agreement, so long as the principle of good faith and no surprises has been observed.
- Both parties will ensure that they have all their elected members at all sittings of the House as reasonable, and will vote in favour of the government on confidence motions.
- While individual bills, including budget bills, will not be treated or designated as matters of confidence, the overall budgetary policy of the Government, including moving to the committee of supply, will be treated as matters of confidence.
- BC Green support for policy and legislation which does not relate to confidence or supply is not subject to this agreement and will be decided on an issue by issue basis.
This agreement establishes a dispute resolution process (see Appendix A).
Both caucuses recognize that, in order to promote greater stability, the government must be able to negotiate with the three BC Green Party MLAs as a single, recognized caucus. Similarly, to be a credible partner and fulfill the responsibilities that will be required of them, the BC Green MLAs require access to legislative tools that are only available to recognized political parties and sufficient support staff.
A foundational piece of this relationship is that both caucuses support the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls- to-action and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision. We will ensure the new government reviews policies, programs and legislation to determine how to bring the principles of the Declaration into action in BC.
This agreement shall only be amended by mutual consent.
Section 2 – Consultation Arrangements
Consultation will occur in a timely fashion to ensure BC Green Caucus views can be incorporated into final decision-making. Formal consultation will be managed between the Premier’s Office and the BC Green Caucus office. Regular meetings will also be established between the Premier and the BC Green Party Leader.
1. Overall Consultation
The BC New Democrat Government will consult the BC Green Party Caucus on:
- Broad outline of the government’s legislative programme;
- Legislation to be introduced in the House;
- Major policy issues;
- Broad budget parameters;
- Events/policy changes with provincial or budgetary implications.
To ensure that the BC Green Party Caucus is informed about the policy agenda of the government, the BC New Democrat Government agrees to provide access to key documents and officials.
Both parties agree to establish a process to manage and coordinate the external communication of policy initiatives covered in this agreement, ensuring the principle of good faith and no surprises is maintained through communications.
The BC New Democrat Government will ensure the BC Green Caucus is afforded meaningful consultation on provincial budget priorities in advance of being finalized.
Where briefings or other consultations have been provided to the BC Green caucus in respect to legislation, policy or budgetary matters, all discussions shall be confidential unless otherwise agreed, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Section 3 – Policy Initiatives
A BC New Democrat Government agrees to advance the following legislative and policy initiatives identified as a condition of support by the BC Green Caucus. These objectives are not an exhaustive list of the policy initiatives the BC New Democrat Government or BC Green Caucus will advance, but are areas where we agree on shared values and outcomes for the people of British Columbia.
1. Making democracy work for people
a. The Legislature shall be recalled within one month of the swearing in of a BC New Democrat Government.
b. Proportional Representation
i. Both the BC New Democrat Government and the BC Green Caucus are committed to proportional representation. Legislation will be introduced in the 1st sitting of the next session of the BC Legislative Assembly with a BC New Democrat Government establishing that:
(1) A referendum on proportional representation will take place in the fall of 2018, concurrent with the next municipal election; and
(2) The form of proportional representation approved in the referendum will be enacted for the next provincial election.
ii. The parties agree that they will work together in good faith to consult British Columbians to determine the form of proportional representation that will be put to a referendum.
iii. The parties agree to both campaign actively in support of the agreed-upon form of proportional representation.
c. Electoral Finance
i. The parties agree that legislation will be introduced in the 1st sitting of the next session of the BC Legislative Assembly with a BC New Democrat Government to:
(1) Ban corporate and union donations and contributions from non-residents of British Columbia;
(2) Place limits on individual contributions;
(3) Accept loans only from banks or recognized financial institutions;
(4) Eliminate any other means by which individuals or entities may wield undue influence over government; and
(5) Conduct a review of campaign finance and the Elections Act.
d. Lobbying Reform
i. The parties agree that legislation will be introduced in the 1st sitting of the next session of the BC Legislative Assembly with a BC New Democrat Government to:
(1) Institute a multi-year prohibition on lobbying for former Senior Public Office Holders;
(2) Increase penalties for violations of the Lobbyists Registration Act;
(3) Initiate a comprehensive review of the Lobbyists Registration Act, including the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists’ mandate, to ensure our democratic institutions and the interests of British Columbians are adequately protected from the influence of special interests.
e. Respect the integrity and independence of a professional public service.
f. Ensure more public input into decision-making by making more effective use of committees of the legislature and allowing MLAs an opportunity to have input on policy decisions.
g. The parties agree that legislation will be introduced in the 1st sitting of the next session of the BC Legislative Assembly with a BC New Democrat Government to shift the formula for the fixed election date from May, to a date in the fall of 2021, and every 4 years after that to provide a more transparent budget process and the passage of a budget prior to an election.
h. Require Spring and Fall sittings of the legislature every year.
2. Jobs, climate and a sustainable economy that works for everyone
a. Climate Action
i. Implement an increase of the carbon tax by $5 per tonne per year, beginning April 1, 2018 and expand the tax to fugitive emissions and to slash-pile burning.
ii. Deliver rebate cheques to ensure a majority of British Columbians are better off financially than under the current carbon tax formula.
iii. Implement a climate action strategy to meet our targets.
b. Immediately refer the Site C dam construction project to the BC Utilities Commission on the question of economic viability and consequences to British Columbians in the context of the current supply and demand conditions prevailing in the BC market.
c. Immediately employ every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the seven-fold increase in tanker traffic on our coast, and the transportation of raw bitumen through our province.
d. Improve fairness for workers, ensure balance in workplaces, and improve measures to protect the safety of workers at work so that everyone goes home safely and that workers and families are protected in cases of death or injury.
e. Immediately establish an at-arm’s-length Fair Wages Commission that will be tasked with establishing a pathway to a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour and overseeing regular rate reviews. The commission will bring forward recommendations regarding strategies to address the discrepancy between minimum wages and livable wages. The commission will make its first report on a new minimum wage within 90 days of its first meeting.
f. Act immediately to improve transit and transportation infrastructure in cooperation with the Mayors’ Council and the federal government to reduce emissions, create jobs and get people home faster.
g. Work with the Mayors’ Council consultation process to find a more fair and equitable way of funding transit for the long term.
h. Invest over four years to support co-op, apprenticeship and work experience programs for high-school and undergraduate students.
i. Establish an Emerging Economy Task Force (EETF) to address the changing nature of business over the next 10 to 25 years. The EETF will be charged with developing “made-in-BC” solutions that keep our government, our policies and our thinking on the cutting edge. The task force will report to the government within one year of the 1st sitting of the next session of the BC Legislative Assembly with a BC New Democrat Government.
i. The mandate and funding of the EETF will be jointly established by representatives of both the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Government.
j. Establish an Innovation Commission to support innovation and business development in the technology sector, and appoint an Innovation Commissioner with a mandate to be an advocate and ambassador on behalf of the BC technology sector in Ottawa and abroad.
i. The mandate and funding of the Innovation Commission will be jointly established by representatives of both the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Government.
ii. The Innovation Commission will be created in the 1st provincial budget tabled by the BC New Democratic Government.
k. Reinvigorate our forest sector to improve both environmental standards and jobs for local communities.
l. Revitalize the Environmental Assessment process in BC and review and address failures in the professional reliance model in BC so that British Columbians’ faith in resource development can be restored.
m. Build needed hospitals, schools and other infrastructure that reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency throughout BC.
3. Fixing the Services People Count on
a. Promote and protect the public healthcare system.
b. Increase the emphasis on preventative health initiatives and services.
c. In the first provincial budget tabled by the BC New Democratic Government, develop a proposal to implement an essential drugs program, designed to reduce the costs of prescription drugs and ensure the cost of drugs is not a barrier to health management.
d. Provide seniors with the right care at the right time to improve health and reduce costs in hospitals.
i. Invest in home care to enable seniors and other people who need assistance to stay in their own homes.
ii. Ensure the staffing of public and private care homes meets government guidelines, and provide additional funding to address staffing levels in public facilities.
iii. Ensure that clear, measurable and enforceable staffing standards for residential care facilities are implemented. Standards will be supported by monitoring and enforcement to ensure they are being met, and there will be annual public reporting.
e. Expand the use of team-based health care to ensure that people have better access to the type of care they need, including access to services from physiotherapists, nurse practitioners, midwives, dieticians, pharmacists and other health professionals.
f. Respond to the crisis in mental health and addictions with a dedicated Minister responsible for developing and implementing a Mental Health and Addiction Strategy and a Youth Mental Health Strategy.
i. Ensure that the Ministry has sufficient funding to provide frontline services, including funding for early intervention, youth mental health initiatives, supervised injection sites, and community-based centres for mental health and rehabilitation.
ii. Develop an immediate response to the fentanyl crisis based on successful programs that invest in treatment-on-demand, drug substitution, early-warning monitoring systems, and coordinated response.
g. Recognize that education is about lifelong learning and make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.
i. Restore funding to Adult Basic Education and English language learning.
ii. Implement an agreed upon approach to improving access and reducing the cost of post-secondary education for students.
iii. Allocate funding for in-service skills training for workers in small and medium-sized enterprises, and for retraining for those displaced by automation or changing markets.
h. Fast track enhancement to K-12 education funding to restore faith in public schools after a decade and a half of a government that shortchanged a generation of students.
i. Priorities for funding include early intervention and Healthy Starts programs.
ii. Review the funding model for the K-12 education system with a view to ensuring equitable access for students.
i. Invest in childcare and early childhood education to improve quality, expand spaces, increase affordability and ensure childcare is accessible for all families, with a focus on early childhood education.
j. Enhance and improve child protection services to ensure that all children grow up in safe and nurturing environments.
i. Invest in child protection to hire additional social workers and staff to support social workers, and to implement incentives to attract social workers to rural and underserved regions.
k. Tighten the rules that protect good landlords and tenants and ensure the resources necessary exist to resolve disputes fairly and in a timely way.
4. Making life more affordable
a. Design and implement a province-wide poverty reduction strategy that includes addressing the real causes of homelessness, including affordable accommodation, support for mental health and addictions and income security.
i. One aspect of the poverty reduction strategy is to design and implement a basic income pilot to test whether giving people a basic income is an effective way to reduce poverty, improve health, housing and employment.
(1) This pilot should be funded in the first provincial budget tabled by the BC New Democratic Government.
b. Develop a genuine progress indicator for British Columbia covering a range of indicators.
i. The indicators will be developed in consultation with business and industry, communities, not-for-profit organizations and individuals.
c. Eliminate regressive MSP premiums.
d. Make housing more affordable by increasing supply of affordable housing and take action to deal with the speculation and fraud that is driving up prices.
Section 4 – Signatures
This agreement is signed by the Leaders of the BC Greens and the BC New Democrats on behalf of their caucuses.
Leader of the BC New Democrats (Signature)
Leader of the BC Greens (Signature)
Leader of the BC New Democrats (Print)
Leader of the BC Greens (Print)
Signed this day of , 2017
Signed this day of , 2017
APPENDIX A – Consultation and Dispute Resolution between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Government
This agreement is governed by the principle of good faith and no surprises found within the “2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus”. In practice, this requires both parties to work together in good faith to:
1. Consult on policy initiatives detailed within the “2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus” and other policy initiatives agreed upon by both parties. Consultation will:
a. Occur before final policy decisions have been made to ensure that the BC Green Caucus can contribute to the policy development process;
i) Notice of forthcoming issues requiring consultation is given through the Consultation Committee (see below for details regarding the Consultation Committee).
b. Commence with adequate time for the BC Green Caucus to review the necessary information and canvass the caucus for positions, taking into consideration the financial and human resource limitations of the BC Green office.
c. Include consultation on senior Order-in-Council (OIC) appointments.
2. Guarantee that the BC New Democrat Government will gauge support from the BC Green Caucus for proposed legislative action through the Consultation Committee before legislation is introduced.
3. Ensure that the BC Green Caucus is informed about the policy agenda of the government. The BC New Democrat Government agrees to provide access to:
a. Deputy minister and ministry staff briefings;
b. Executive summaries and full briefings on key issues as requested by the BC Green Caucus, and 30-60-90 briefing notes;
c. Adequate background documents and support information used in the preparation of initiatives;
d. Other resources as necessary to enable informed participation by the BC Green Caucus;
The BC Green Caucus and BC New Democrat Government establish three levels to consultation/dispute resolution under the broader “2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus”.
1. Where an issue is identified for consultation by the BC Green Caucus, a member of the BC Green Caucus will be identified to the BC New Democrat Government as the point person on the issue. Consultation on the issue occurs directly between the Minister and the BC Green Caucus point person.
2. A Consultation Committee will be established to consider any issues needing consultation, including parliamentary aspects that have not been dealt with in consultations between the Minister and the BC Green Caucus point person. This committee will meet regularly and will have 3 members from each party, including at least one member of caucus.
3. Regular meetings between the Premier and the Leader of the BC Green Party will take place and can dispense of any remaining issues.
In addition to the process laid out above, the following access is provided to the BC Green Caucus:
Representatives from the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Government will meet frequently to establish the formal and informal methods through which consultation takes place. Both parties acknowledge that consultation will form the basis of ensuring that good relationships can be built, that the principle of good faith and no surprises can be followed, and that a strong, stable and effective minority government can exist.
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