Media Statement: March 3rd, 2014
MLA Charts Own Path on Budget Vote – Andrew Weaver
For Immediate Release
Victoria BC – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, voted today for Budget 2014 to proceed to the Committee of Supply. While the budget does not contain many of the priorities the BC Green Party is seeking, the tabling of a balanced budget offers a good starting point that Andrew Weaver, as the only BC Green Party MLA, can build on.
“This is certainly not a budget I would have tabled — that is why I continue to raise my concerns. Yet the question for me is this: How can I best represent my constituents? Being an effective MLA is about more than just opposing for the sake of it — it is about being constructive and genuinely willing to work across party lines.”
The BC Green Party believes that living within our means is crucial as we build a more sustainable and equitable society. This budget lays out a balanced fiscal plan, which includes small steps towards reducing our debt. It does this while also substantially increasing funding for Community Living BC, and taking an innovative approach to funding research into cancer prevention with revenue generated from increasing the tobacco tax.
This budget also provides direct benefits to the constituents of Oak Bay-Gordon Head through the film tax credit, funding for Camosun College and an increase in the Property Transfer Tax exemption limit. These initiatives help make life slightly more affordable and open up new business opportunities for the region.
Yet while there are strong points in the budget, it falls short of offering a consistent vision for a transition to an economy where we live within our means. This budget does not do enough to directly address our social challenges, such as our country-leading child poverty rate, nor does it offer a concrete and consistent plan to meet our climate action targets, both of which are necessary to ensure that future generations are not burdened by the decisions we make today.
“We still need a back-up plan in case LNG development fails; we need a more consistent approach to making BC more affordable for families and to dealing with systemic issues like adolescent mental health; and we need to re-commit to our 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets. However, as an individual MLA, I must make a decision about how best I can make a difference. With Budget 2014, I believe it starts by supporting the idea of a balanced budget and by constructively building on the small steps the budget takes to make life more affordable, while challenging the government to go further.”
A more comprehensive analysis of the budget can be found here.
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
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