Saturday, December 1, 2012

 

BC Politics

'Visionary Reforms' for a Greener Province

Sterk: We can inspire the nation

Released by the Green Party of BC

 

reen Party of BC Leader Jane Sterk took the opportunity of her Nov. 29 nomination as candidate for Victoria - Beacon Hill to urge supporters in the riding and the province to 'inspire the nation' with another Green victory in the South Island in next May's provincial elections.

Elizabeth May, the first Green MP in Canada, represents the riding of Saanich - Gulf Islands. In a by-election for the federal Victoria riding Nov. 26, Donald Galloway came within 2.9 percentage points of winning a second federal seat for the Greens. “We need to build on those successes in Victoria – Beacon Hill,” Ms. Sterk said.

Taking aim at a fundraising speech by Premier Christy Clark Nov. 28, in which the Liberal Party leader said “It’s self-interest that moves us forward,” Ms. Sterk countered that today’s generation of entrepreneur is more broad minded and concerned with the bigger picture than the person Premier Clark described.

“It’s not self-interest that will ‘raise British Columbians’ collective prosperity’”, Ms. Sterk countered. “It’s a growing awareness amongst business leaders and all citizens of the need to be environmentally, socially and economically smart that will raise us to a new level of prosperity.”

She called Premier Clark’s promise to drive growth in BC by “by harnessing its natural resources and expanding its export capacity” incomplete and short sighted. The premier made specific reference to three Liquefied Natural Gas plants the province wants to bring on stream by 2020, and to reducing “a backlog in mining permits by 80 per cent to pave the way for 17 new and expanded mines by 2015.”

“Our premier makes no mention of Greenhouse Gas emissions, or the environmental impacts of mining operations when they are not subject to careful environmental scrutiny,” Ms. Sterk said. “She makes no mention of increased competition in the LNG industry due to new, environmentally harmful practices like fracking.”

The Green Party of BC’s policy is to: apply ‘triple bottom line’ accounting practices to resource and other sectors; involve communities and first nations in decisions around resource extraction and use; and diversify BC’s economy by supporting secondary manufacturing, green industries and community-based industries.

“Premier Clark wants to perpetuate old paradigms that pin BC’s economic hopes on cheap exports of resources, without adequate attention to the health of our planet or the economic realities that face us. She has no vision for a province that can be a leader in new ways of thinking, and in the new business opportunities that a Green economy will bring to BC.”

“Continued focus on the same old ways of doing things is bound to fail,” Ms. Sterk said. “Most of us know that; it’s time we had leaders in Victoria who are aware of it too.”

The Liberal and New Democratic parties in BC do not have a vision for inspiring voters, Ms. Sterk added, especially young voters, many of whom are disillusioned with the political process.

“As your MLA I will implement as many of the Green Party of BC’s principles regarding participatory democracy as I can; and I will work tirelessly for reform in the Legislative Assembly so that other democratic principles that will strengthen your voice – and the voices of all British Columbians – can be achieved.”

Green Party of BC governance principles include:

  • Proportional Representation;

  • Improved rights of Initiative and Recall for citizens;

  • Free votes on most legislation, including the budget.

These reforms will allow MLA’s to better reflect the wishes of constituents, and give constituents more influence over the direction of government she said. “I am confident that the people of Victoria – Beacon Hill will work with me on the environmental, economic and social issues laid out in the Green Book,” she added.

Ms. Sterk promised to continue voicing opposition on behalf of the people of Victoria – Beacon Hill to increased oil tanker traffic that would be caused by the Enbridge and the Kinder Morgan pipeline projects. “As well as putting our coastline at risk, these projects will perpetuate and expand an oil-based economy that will inevitably lead to global warming, with dire consequences for the entire planet,” Ms. Sterk pointed out.

By voting for her residents of Victoria – Beacon Hill will gain a strong voice in the Provincial Legislature, Ms. Sterk concluded: “They will also signal for the rest of BC that people want visionary reforms that will make for more responsive government, strengthened communities and a better world.”

Jane Sterk has been leader of the Green Party of BC since October 2007. She is a business professor at the University Canada West and a former Township of Esquimalt Councillor.

 

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