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Media Statement: February 18th, 2014
Budget Falls Short of a Diversified and Affordable Economy for British Columbians
For Immediate Release

Victoria BC While Budget 2014 rightly places an importance on living within our means, it falls short of providing a diversified and affordable economy for British Columbians.

“I applaud the Government for investing in new trades training facilities, for raising the threshold for exemption from the property transfer tax and for including the Capital Regional District in the Distant Location Tax Credit for the Film and Television industry,” says MLA Andrew Weaver. “These are clear steps in the right direction. Yet it is also clear that more can be done.”

The Government has described this as a status-quo budget at a time when BC continues to have the highest child poverty rate in the country and is quickly losing its leadership in addressing climate change.

The Government can address issues such as these by making smart investments in our Province and in our workforce, which provide real opportunities for British Columbians today, while ensuring that our children have the same opportunities we do. There are a number of examples of these solutions that link the decisions we make in our economy to our social and environmental needs, including

  • U.S. states such as Washington and Oregon are already seeing the economic benefits of developing their clean energy sectors. With the establishment of a new BMW manufacturing facility for zero emission vehicles in Moses Lake, WA and a Google Data Centre in The Dalles, OR, these states have been placed “at the cutting edge of the technological revolution”, resulting in both job creation and economic diversity across the region. We could be doing this in B.C.
  • Utah has succeeded in reducing homelessness by 78% in the last 8 years. They based this investment on studies that show a clear net economic benefit to society from addressing homelessness.
  • As the social and economic impacts of storms linked to climate change increase, we could follow our Pacific Coast Action Plan partners and explore all means by which the provincial government may halt the expansion of thermal coal exports in British Columbia. This approach would be consistent with the province’s commitment to addressing climate change.

“We need to be taking steps like these in British Columbia. The fact is, the economic prosperity of BC depends on the transition of our economy to one where we live within our means. The opportunities that will be afforded to future generations will depend on our ability to make these investments today.” Said Andrew Weaver

Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382

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