Proportional representation for British Columbia

February 25, 2015

If elected in 2017, Opposition New Democrats will give British Columbians a vote to decide if they want a proportional representation system in place for the 2021 provincial election.

The caucus will introduce several pieces of legislation this session that would help make government in B.C. more democratic, open and accountable, and will let British Columbians decide if they want to move to a system of proportional representation in provincial elections.

These proposed laws would help make elections fairer and, once the ballots are counted, ensure legislators do a better job for the public, make government more accountable and give citizens more power.

We’re serious about democratic reform for B.C. Only 24 per cent of eligible voters in B.C. cast ballots for the governing party. Despite being supported by a minority of voters, this government has 100 per cent of the power.

We plan to consult British Columbians on the specific proportional reform to be put to a vote, and to campaign strongly in favour of that reform. Our Opposition spokesperson for democratic reform, Gary Holman, has started a series of public meetings to get feedback on these proposals. Please let me know your thoughts on this issue at shane.simpson.mla@leg.bc.ca.

 

Budget offers tax cut to top 2 per cent earners

The top 2% of earners will get a $236 million tax break while everyone else will enjoy a tax cut in this year’s provincial budget. Meanwhile, middle income earners will face more fees for services.

Instead of putting some of B.C.’s modest surplus towards implementing poverty reduction plan, or efforts to tackle climate change, Premier Clark has chosen to put more public money into private schools, appointing a parliamentary secretary for independent schools.

One bright spot in this otherwise disappointing budget is the end of the child support clawback for families on income assistance. Starting September 1, single parents on income assistance will be able to keep every dollar of child support from an ex-spouse. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make the case for this policy reversal, including my colleague Michelle Mungall, whose advocacy on this issue has been tireless.

OTHER BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Ferry fares go up 3.9% April 1st
  • $14 million cut from higher education
  • School boards must cut $29 million from their budgets
  • Unprocessed resources exports up from 59% in 2001 to 66% in 2015
  • $1,859 in hidden fee and rate hikes since 2001
  • B.C.’s debt to hit $70 billion by 2018
  • No commitment to a poverty reduction plan
  • No action on climate change

Find the 2015 provincial budget at http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/default.htm.

 

Hastings Park Farmers Market

I’m delighted to welcome the return of the Vancouver Farmers Market to Hastings Park this spring. Find local produce, cheese, meats, artisan hand-made goods, food trucks, crafts, activities, and more. Eating local is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and support local farmers, food producers, and artisans. The trial market will be open Sundays, March 8April 26, from 10 am to 2 pm.

I’ll be at the market to meet with you and celebrate Earth Day
Sunday, April 19. Stop and say hello!

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Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 12:00pm - 4:30pm