B.C. Green Party claims its influence is evident in 2019 budget priorities

Andrew Weaver
Andrew Weaver

THE BC Green Party claims that the government’s 2019 budget provides clear evidence that its participation in this landmark minority government has been a success in advancing its values and policy priorities.

“We are pleased the B.C. Green Caucus’ impact on this budget is so evident,” said BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver. “By funding core B.C. Green initiatives, including CleanBC, professional reliance reform, and increasing affordability for students, government demonstrates the value of our voice in a minority government.

“I have been pushing government to prioritize the well-being of British Columbians, their economy and their environment since I was elected almost six years ago. CleanBC is not just an investment for today, but for our future as well. The investment of almost $1 billion over the fiscal plan goes a long way to putting us on track to meet our targets.”

Advancing the policies in the Confidence and Supply Agreement has been a unique challenge, but the 2019 budget takes meaningful steps forward on numerous caucus priorities. The B.C. Green caucus said they value being able to work collaboratively with government.

Other B.C. Green priorities that have been funded in this budget: support for family caregivers, Pharmacare, education, childcare, and investments in youth mental health.

The announcement of the B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit is also a positive step forward, providing support for the health and well-being of B.C. families.

“The B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit will positively impact B.C. families and aligns with our values of intergenerational equity and proactively promotes the health and wellbeing before they find themselves left behind,” said Weaver.

There are also welcome advances in the relationship between government and Indigenous nations with the agreement on revenue sharing advanced in this budget.

However, the B.C. Green caucus would have invested significantly more in environmental stewardship to ensure future generations have the same opportunities and security that we do.

Weaver said: “Funding for habitat and species protections is underwhelming. Our province’s wildlife is facing increasing threats, and to ignore the plight of endangered species like steelhead is more than shortsighted; it is dangerous to the economy, environment and our province’s cultural identify.

“Preparing for the future will continue to be a challenge. We know that climate change threatens every aspect of life in our province. Government must recognize this threat and allocate funding to address the unavoidable increase in natural disasters. From wildfires to flooding, we must aggressively fund our emergency response network and plan on emergency funding needs in the year to come.”