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BC New Democrats Release Platform

April 9, 2009

Today, the BC New Democrats released their 2009 election platform, entitled “Take Back Your BC”.

Looking at the document as a whole, it balances the fiscal, social, and environmental needs of the province very well.

I am particularly impressed on how the platform adresses the economy, a subject that I think needed to be addressed better by the BC New Democrats for a while now. The BC New Democrats realize that we are in a recession, and that the middle class doesn’t need to have its tax burden increased.  Therefore, the BC New Democrats will be getting rid of the carbon tax that makes the middle class and the North pay while the big polluters get away.  As well, to help small businesses survive these times, the BC New Democrats will give them a one year tax holiday.

Beyond addressing taxes, the platform addresses the economy in other ways. For instance, investing in infrastructure renewal; investing in education and the traders to ensure that British Columbians can better participate in the economy; and investing in wealth creation, which includes restructuring with public consultation the forest tenure system so that smaller companies can access the wood that they need, and the establishment of a Rural Economic Development Fund to support economy diversification in the North.

Of course, the platform also discusses the various social needs of the province.

For instance, the minimum wage will be raised to $10/hour and indexed to inflation. This will help address poverty; the majority of the poor in British Columbia work, and they often work more than one job. Having a $10/minimum wage will make live better for both them and their children. 

In health care, the plan in to make smart investments to reduce waiting times. Examples of such investments would be more efficient specialized surgical centres for high demand operations and encouraging and transmitting new innovated practices. As well, there will be more investment in training medical staff.

In regards to post-secondary education, the BC New Democrats will freeze tuition (and compensating universities for tuition increases lost, which is key to ensure continued quality) and reintroduce need-based grants.

As for the environment, the plan is to create a cap and trade system, give low interest loans to green retrofits to houses, adopt California standards for automobiles, and create a Green Bond in which British Columbians invest for the purpose of making Green investments.

Of course, I’ve sort of skimmed though the document and missed quite a few details, but all in all, I’d say that “Take Back Your BC” is a solid plan for a solid Carole James Premiership.

As for the BC Liberals, well, they will have to stand on their record resort to talking about ancient events that happened during a decade for which the majority of, I spent having a age consisting of a single digit.

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