day 1 of the national in­quiry


Elec­toral re­form

Both the NDP and the Green Par­ties cham­pi­oned a move to a pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion elec­toral sys­tem dur­ing their cam­paigns this year, but di ered on how it should be im­ple­mented. Ul­ti­mately, the NDP’s in­sis­tence on a pub­lic vote be­fore mak­ing any changes to B.C. elec­tions won out.

Ac­cord­ing to the ac­cord, “a ref­er­en­dum on pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion will take place in the fall of 2018, con­cur­rent with the next mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.”

The agree­ment also sets out a ban on union and cor­po­rate po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions, mov­ing ixed elec­tion dates to the fall and tougher lob­by­ing laws.

“We’re go­ing to make sure we do as ex­haus­tive a con­sul­ta­tion as pos­si­ble (on a po­ten­tial sys­tem) be­tween now and ref­er­en­dum day and the two of us, at a min­i­mum, are gong to cam­paign in favour of that,” said NDP leader John Hor­gan, along­side Green leader An­drew Weaver. “That will be the ex­cit­ing part, lay­ing out putting in place an elec­toral sys­tem that will be rati ied by the pub­lic to demon­strate that we can vote with your con­science, you can vote for who you want and still get peo­ple to work to­gether.”

Weaver added it was crit­i­cal to for­mu­late a “very clear” ref­er­en­dum ques­tion.


The fu­ture of the Ge­orge Massey tun­nel re­place­ment bridge is now in doubt with the NDP ready to form govern­ment.

While its agree­ment with the Greens prom­ises only to “act im­me­di­ately to im­prove tran­sit and trans­porta­tion in­fras­truc­ture in co-op­er­a­tion with the May­ors’ Coun­cil and fed­eral govern­ment”, Hor­gan painted the pro­posed 10-lane bridge as an un­wanted one.

“A 10-lane bridge is only sup­ported by the in­cum­bent govern­ment, not by the May­ors’ Coun­cil, not by the two of us stand­ing here, it is un­likely the so­lu­tion to (con­ges­tions),” he said. “We’ll look at all the op­tions that the may­ors want to put for­ward.”

Hor­gan said the NDP still plans to elim­i­nate tolls on the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges, which was an elec­tion prom­ise, but doesn’t have Weaver’s sup­port on that so it’s un­known how that will play out. The agree­ment says govern­ment will work with the re­gion to de­velop a long-term fund­ing for­mula for tran­sit and Hor­gan said road pric­ing was dis­cussed in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Greens, but noth­ing speci ic has been promised.

The fu­ture of ride-shar­ing ser­vices, like Uber, in B.C. is also up in the air. Hor­gan said he’ll try to work across party lines to ind a way of al­low­ing ride-shar­ing in B.C. while pro­tect­ing the ex­ist­ing taxi in­dus­try.

Poverty re­duc­tion

The NDP Green agree­ment pro­posed a slate of poli­cies de­signed to make life more a ord­able for Bri­tish Columbians and to tackle poverty.

Those pro­pos­als in­clude the province’s irst ever poverty re­duc­tion plan (B.C. is the only province that doesn’t have one), a path to­ward a $15 min­i­mum wage, the elim­i­na­tion of MSP pre­mi­ums and in­creas­ing the sup­ply of a ord­able hous­ing.

The agree­ment also talks about in­vest­ing in child care, but doesn’t speci ic how. Dur­ing the cam­paign, the NDP was propos­ing $10 a day child­care while the Green Party promised free child care for chil­dren un­der three and more money for early child­care education. The agree­ment also in­cludes a com­mit­ment to try out a po­ten­tial ba­sic in­come pi­lot project.

Site C

The NDP will not stop con­struc­tion of the Site C dam (yet) but will send it to im­me­di­ate re­view by the B.C. Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion un­der its agree­ment with the Greens.

Weaver has been a vo­cal op­po­nent of the megapro­ject, but said the re­view pro­posed by Hor­gan is a good irst step. “We came in there very strong on Site C, as you might imagine,” Weaver said of ne­go­ti­a­tions with the NDP. “We pres­sured (the NDP) on what they meant on send­ing it to the BCUC. To us, it wasn’t enough just to say that they would. We pres­sured on the ques­tion that would be asked and we got a re­sponse that, frankly, I think is the right re­sponse that we’re look­ing for.”

Hor­gan said the BCUC will be tasked to ind out why the project was ap­proved un­der the Lib­er­als, how much it will cost go­ing for­ward, what im­pact it will have on Hy­dro rates and what other al­ter­na­tives are avail­able.


Weaver said he ul­ti­mately chose to part­ner with the NDP be­cause “of the dis­man­tling of our cli­mate lead­er­ship here in the province of Bri­tish Columbia,” un­der Premier Christy Clark’s Lib­eral govern­ment.

His agree­ment with the NDP in­cludes the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a “cli­mate ac­tion strat­egy” to meet pro­vin­cial emis­sions tar­gets and an in­crease of the car­bon tax by $5 per tonne per year, start­ing April 2018.

Both par­ties have also agreed to “em­ploy ev­ery tool avail­able” to stop the ex­pan­sion of the Kinder Morgan pipe­line and a com­mit­ment to “re­vi­tal­ize the En­vi­ron­men­tal As­sess­ment process in B.C.”

“Ul­ti­mately, a frame­work on cli­mate lead­er­ship is what brought the B.C. Greens here to­day to work with the B.C. NDP,” Weaver said.




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