B.C.’s wild west financing laws need more than just a few tweaks (Globe and Mail). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/bcs-wild-west-financing-laws-need-more-than-just-a-few-tweaks/article34259523/
Groups call on Christy Clark to return Kinder Morgan political donations (Vancouver Sun). http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/groups-call-on-christy-clark-to-return-kinder-morgan-political-donations
Real estate developers topped B.C. Liberals donor list in the past year (Vancouver Sun). http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/property-developers-topped-b-c-liberals-donor-list-in-the-past-year
Breaking: BC Liberal Political Donation Scandal Investigated by RCMP
Bureaucratic waste is eating your tax dollars. This needs to stop now.
- Making the budget completely public down to the last tax dollar will go along ways towards eliminating waste. It will encourage proper government spending, and allow questioning of the spending undertaken to ensure it is the most effective possible.
- Departmental budgets will no longer be based upon the dollar amount spent the previous year. This will end the race at the end of the year to spend all remaining money in the budget in order to get the same amount the following year.
- All Levels of Government under the Provincial Government’s control will be required to make their budgets, expenses, and contracts public. This will include all crown corporations, Translink, Metro Vancouver (GVRD), and Municipal Governments.
ICBC costs British Columbians more than necessary for their car insurance.
- Open up the insurance market to private insurance companies while keeping minimum levels of insurance required for driving as set by the province of British Columbia.
- Keep ICBC around to ensure competitive rates can not rise higher than those established by ICBC.
- Allow transferable insurance for people who own zero emissions vehicles, like electric cars and compressed air cars, so that they can commute during the week with their ZEV and drive a gas powered automobile for longer trips.
Require all government legislation and actions to pass a sustainability test. They must be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
Make all government collected information public. This will include any environmental monitoring data collected by the government or required to be collected by the government. This will allow the public and environmental organizations to see how well sites around the province are monitored and the impacts of activities on them.
Make all government contracts public. This will allow the public to see what environmental regulations and precautions have been allowed for in the contracts that the government has signed with private companies operating in the province or on behalf of the government. All major contracts will be required to be made public before they are signed.
Require all products sold in BC to have an environmental letter grade rating. This will allow BC consumers to determine how much they are willing to pay for more environmentally responsible products and will not allow companies to greenwash and disguise their products as environmentally friendly.
Invest in long term sustainable energy production to ensure BC has a long term supply of cheap, renewable, and responsible energy with a minimum environmental impact.
Work with the federal government to set aside portions of the BC coast as Marine Protected areas.
Enact legislation for protecting endangered species in BC.
Redirect the funds collected by the pacific carbon trust into supporting local programs which have more measurable positive impacts on the environment.
Work towards creating a more sustainable transportation network in the lower mainland by creating a greater transit system. Embracing the understanding that the more people use transit, the fewer cars are on the road, the less traffic congestion there will be and the less the government will have to spend on road repairs and construction.
It is time for the government to reinvigorate BC’s economy by clearly outlining the direction the province will head in order ensure we stay competitive in the country and the world and develop in a way that will position BC for long-term sustainable economic growth well into the future.
Decrease the tax burden on British Columbians:
The everyday spending of British Columbians has a large effect on the BC economy. The Government needs to realize every dollar you spend generates the economy far more than a dollar the government spends because of losses due to bureaucratic waste.
Make the budget public down to the last tax dollar and allow British Columbians to help the government uncover waste and spend tax dollars more effectively.
By spending tax dollars more effectively, the government will be able to provide higher levels of service while collecting less tax from you. You will be able to spend that money on what you want which will help to generate the economy.
Decrease small business costs:
The government needs to work with small businesses to reduce the financial cost of starting up and running a small business.
Creating regional business licenses instead of separate municipal business licences would go a long way to reducing costs in the home improvement, renovation and construction industries.
Making it simpler to do business legally in BC will encourage a lot of business which is currently done under the table to become part of the legal economy.
The government should facilitate the hiring of unemployed British Columbians by working to make them more employable.
The government will create a searchable inventory of available land and buildings which could possibly be used for different types of short term and long term projects. Areas can be as small as a little patch of park available for a community garden to a large patch of wilderness available for sustainable ecotourism businesses. Making this list easily accessible will help inspire British Columbians to the possibilities around them.
Refocus the resource extraction industries:
The provincial government relies too heavily on the revenue generated from these industries which is hard to predict and impossible to rely on since it is dependent on international commodity markets.
The government needs to refocus the resource extraction industries in order to make them sustainable while keeping them profitable into the future.
The government needs to work at diversifying the markets for these goods so they will not be as dependent on the success of one country.
The government will need to work with forestry, mining, and oil and gas companies to make specific changes in each industry to redevelop these industries and ensure the revenue generated by them helps ensure their long term sustainable growth.
Develop a Green Economy in BC:
BC has the opportunity to lead the world by investing in the creation of a truly Green Economy and not just paying lip service to the green movement.
BC needs to end their practice of forcing all levels of government to buy “carbon offsets” from large corporations. These offsets cost taxpayers, and government branches like school boards, and health authorities millions of dollars yearly and the offsets bought do not actually reduce the amount of carbon created. If the government wants to be truly carbon neutral they shoudl invest that money in the green economy in BC.
The cornerstones of BC’s Green Economy will be: the Technology sector, the Sustainable Tourism sector, and the Green Construction sector.
The government can encourage the Technology Sector by embracing technology as a government and encouraging its citizens to use it, by adding basic computer programming courses to the elementary school curriculum and by opening up the technology training markets.
The government can encourage the Sustainable Tourism sector by providing greater opportunities for sustainable tourism businesses to access BC’s wilderness, by facilitating the partnerships between sustainable tourism businesses and other business that benefit from tourism to create packages easy to market internationally, and by making sporting goods, many of which are used in the sustainable tourism industry, tax free.
The government can create a Green Construction Sector here in BC by providing BC manufacturing companies greater access to BC’s resources to create sustainable construction products, by giving tax incentives to companies which use sustainable BC products for construction, and by working with certification organizations to ensure certifications are based on practical sustainable practices and not just techniques which sound sustainable.
Invest in cheap, environmentally sustainable, electricity on demand:
BC has historically had a competitive advantage in North America by having access to cheap electricity produced sustainably and available on demand.
This electricity has been provided by dams throughout the province providing a large hyrdo electric capacity. BC needs to invest in the development of more large scale dams to create enough capacity for the future.
Large Scale Hydro dams have traditionally been the key to BC’s energy needs because they do not burn fossil fuels, they have a minimal environmental impact per Kw/hr and the electrical capacity can be saved for use at peak demand times. Continue to look at increasing BC’s large scale hydro capacity.
The extra electrical capacity can be sold to other jurisdictions at peak times for peak prices enabling those jurisdictions to rely less on the burning of fossil fuels.
Continue to keep BC a desirable place to live and work:
Reaffirm a commitment to the protection of the environment for use by the future generations of British Columbians.
Provide improved access to nature in and around BC and encourage British Columbians to use it responsibly.
Work with newcomers to BC and work with areas outside of the Lower Mainland to encourage sustainable development and growth in these areas.