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Letters  

A 'change election'

This provincial election is more than who will govern the next four years, but a once in generation opportunity to protect the trajectory of our future before it’s too late. This has to be a change election.

The BC Liberals claim to be champions of balanced budgets, jobs, and low taxes but instead we have an unbalanced BC full of growing economic, environmental, and social debt. 

Proof is in the Liberals convenient spreadsheet exercise that neglects the hard truths: 

1. Frozen social programs that are already underfunded, including mental health and addiction, creating greater costs on emergency services and hundreds of lives.

2. Continuing to take money from BC Hydro - $2 billion over two years as BC Hydro’s debt mounts toward $20 billions and rates increase.

3. Siphoning $150 million a year from ICBC, another supposedly non-profit organization

4. Ballooning revenues from property transfer tax, which resulted in the blatant neglect of speculation in the runaway housing market

5. Further debt taken on for the under utilized Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges and make work projects with no business case or need such as Site C, and the Massey Tunnel Replacement conveniently hidden on other spreadsheets

6. Continuing to log old growth forests to collect higher stumpage fees.

7. Further cuts to already underfunded wildlife protection that is putting iconic animals we rely on for tourism and hunting to the brink.
 
This is not a balanced budget. While the BC Liberals failed at making bad deals to create LNG jobs, they are now making worse deals pointing to the unnecessary $9 billion Site C and unwanted $3.5 billion Massey Bridge make work projects to be paid for by rate payers and future generations as badges of honour for job creation! This is their record. A great misallocation of taxpayer money with greater opportunity costs for our communities and people of BC. 

I am a father and millennial. I’m on the front lines with a generation that can’t afford another four years of neglect of rising housing prices and childcare, and job promises based on volatile, carbon fuelled pipe dreams. 

We want to work to create the low carbon economy, to create the future we want to live in out of necessity for our existence. 

But it’s not just about my generation. One generation falling behind affects all generations from doing well. We need our communities to do well for BC to do well and that means focusing on local economic development for this century, not shiny pet projects of the past. 

This election, there is something different. We are seeing hard social issues and rational discourse on the direction of our economy taking front stage. We also finally have a viable alternative to vote for, not against - Andrew Weaver and the BC Green Party. Andrew has shown us what good politics looks like.  He was the hardest working MLA by being a voice of rational policy over the past four years – calling out the bad and encouraging to make the good great regardless of where the idea came from. In raising his voice, he was speaking on behalf of many of us who have restlessly watched hijacked BC Liberals making policies that reward their donors at the expense of our future, and an equally hijacked NDP failing to raise their voice on difficult issues making it difficult to know what they really stand for. 

As a result, the Green Party has inspired a slate of quality candidates, and supporters from all political stripes including myself with a vision beyond political ideology, but evidence based policy that takes care of the economy, people, and the planet. This is what happens when you’re a party for good public policy not corporate or union donors.  That’s how the Green Party platform finally addresses elephants in the room with a direction we know is right:

  • Healthcare should include wellness and prevention
  • The real estate market should not be inflated by speculation, but housing people and providing reasonable equity
  • Homelessness should include housing, mental health and addiction, and collaboration
  • Investment in infrastructure should actually solve issues, help us transition to a low carbon future in collaboration with communities. Not lock us in to make work projects that kill innovation and based on 1950s approaches we can’t afford.
  • We need a comprehensive approach to addictions and mental health;
  • Education and childcare should be attainable and affordable for everyone to have the best start and help our economy thrive; and,
  • Our economy needs to create local jobs for our communities to thrive, focus on value-added and sustainable resource management, and seize the opportunities to lead in the 21st century economy

We know continuing with the status quo is only more costly and has a priceless human toll. That’s not even an option. 

The Green Party platform compared to the other parties has been praised by economists as the most comprehensive and credible to address today’s challenges. 

Andrew Weaver and local candidates have inspired us with their exceptional performance in debates and forums. Now is the time for us to turn the inspiration into the future we need. That's why I'm voting Green.

Robert Stupka



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