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Media Release

Statement on today’s announcement on Trans Mountain expansion project

Today my colleague Adam Olsen and I released a statement on the Government’s announcement regarding steps that they were going to take to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project from going ahead. As you will see from the statement I reproduce below, we applaud Premier Horgan’s strong leadership on this issue and his government’s demonstration that it intends to make good on this crucial promise.


Media Statement


Weaver and Olsen statements on government action on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
August 10, 2017
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen responded to the NDP minority government’s announcement that it is taking action to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from proceeding.

“I am very pleased by the government’s announcement today,” said Weaver. “Employing every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline is a key commitment in our Confidence and Supply Agreement. I applaud Premier Horgan’s strong leadership on this issue and his government’s demonstration that it intends to make good on this crucial promise.

“In the B.C. Green caucus’ view the National Energy Board process that led to this project’s approval was profoundly flawed. Numerous questions remain unanswered or were simply dismissed. To cite one example, the entire marine spill response was predicated on the existence of 20 hours of sunlight. There is no place south of Tuktoyaktuk that has that much sunlight on any day of the year.

“Government has a responsibility to base major decisions affecting the lives and livelihood of so many people on sound evidence, and in the case of TransMountain that standard was not met. In fact, expert panels from both the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada have highlighted the fact that there would be be little ability to clean up a diluted bitumen spill in the coastal environment.

“B.C.’s future lies in innovative growth areas like clean tech and the value-added resource sector, not the sunset fossil fuel industry of the last century. B.C. has everything it needs to be a leader in these areas – it is simply a matter of priorities. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the house to develop good public policy that will ensure B.C.’s prosperity for generations to come.”

Weaver was the only MLA in the B.C. Legislature that acted as an intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings on the TransMountain pipeline expansion project. Adam Olsen, now MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, was also an intervenor.

“It is time to change the relationship with First Nations in British Columbia and this new minority government has a chance to do things differently when it comes to working with First Nations on projects that impact their communities,” said Olsen, who is a member of the Tsartlip First Nation.

“A foundational piece of the agreement between our two caucuses is our mutual support of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls-to-action and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court Decision. Indigenous rights and interests are clearly an important part of the Provincial and National interest and I am proud that our Provincial government is recognizing that. Together we can build a province where the government is finally accountable to all of the people it serves.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

My statement on Christy Clark’s resignation as MLA & Leader of BC Liberals

Andrew Weaver statement on Christy Clark’s resignation as Leader of the BC Liberal Party and MLA for Kelowna-West

July 28, 2017

For immediate release

“I want to thank Christy Clark for her years of service to British Columbians, both as an MLA and as Leader of the BC Liberals,” said Weaver. “She has been a fierce advocate for British Columbia, here at home and around the world.

“A highlight of my time in the Legislature was working directly with Christy Clark to implement sexualized violence policy legislation for BC’s post-secondary institutions. Her leadership and willingness to work across party lines on this vital issue has made universities and colleges across this province safer for our students – and for this I am grateful.

“This experience illustrated what we can achieve when members of this house work together. I wish Christy Clark well in her future pursuits and look forward to developing a productive relationship with the next Leader of the BC Liberal Party.”

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Media contact
Sarah Miller, Acting Press Secretary
+1 250-858-9891 | sarah.miller@bcgreens.ca

Weaver’s initiative to ban mandatory high heels passes

 

Weaver’s initiative to ban mandatory high heels passes
April 7th, 2017
For immediate release

VICTORIA B.C. – Last month on International Women’s Day, MLA Andrew Weaver tabled a bill that would ensure employers do not set varying footwear requirements for their employees based on gender, gender expression or gender identity. As a result, for example, this bill would prevent employers from requiring select employees to wear high-heeled shoes in the workplace.

“When I first tabled this bill it went viral and received media coverage around the world. Forcing female employees to wear high-heeled shoes, especially when their male colleagues are wearing flat shoes, is archaic and this change is clearly overdue,” said Weaver.

Today Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, welcomed the news that the government has amended the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation under the Workers Compensation Act to include that “potential for musculoskeletal injury” must be considered in determining appropriate footwear.

“Over the last month, my office has been inundated with messages from people in countless sectors sharing their experience of being forced to wear heels at work. Waiters, bartenders, lawyers, people in the retail and hospitality industry wrote in to my office. I have even heard from people who work within the B.C. Legislature! They talked about sexism, objectification, bleeding feet, sore knees, hips, and backs, long term damage, and called for this practice be officially changed.”

“We are very far from an inclusive, gender-equal province. But this is an important step (taken in work-appropriate shoes of our choosing) in the right direction.” said Weaver.

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Media contact
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

Introducing two bills to protect dogs and encourage responsible pet ownership

Today in the Legislature I introduced two bills aimed at ensuring the humane treatment of dogs who end up being seized, while upholding public protection from dangerous dogs. The first bill is entitled Bill M239 — Animal Liability Act, 2017 and is based on similar legislation in Manitoba. It ensures that owners of animals are held liable for the actions of their animals. I introduced a very similar version of the Animal Liability Act last year. My office and I subsequently undertook extensive discussions with numerous stakeholders. Earlier, we summarized some of these discussions, including the relationship of my bill with Section 49 of the Community Charter.

Our extensive consultations led us to tweak the Animal Liability Act, 2017 and to also propose amendments to Section 49 of the Community Charter. These changes had been recommended by the SPCA and are found in Bill M238, Community Charter Amendment Act, 2017.

Below I reproduce the text and video of my introduction of the two Bills. I append our media release at the end.


1) Community Charter Amendment Act, 2017


Text of Introduction


A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled Community Charter Amendment Act, 2017, of which notice has been given in my name, be introduced and read a first time now.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: I’m pleased to introduce a bill intituled the Community Charter Amendment Act, 2017. This bill makes a number of changes to section 49 of the Community Charter, which regulates special powers in relation to dangerous dogs. It adds legal clarity for proceedings and appeals in accordance with the Offence Act. It restricts the definition of a “dangerous dog” to a dog that kills or seriously injures a person or animal without provocation. It also creates standards of care for dogs held in long-term impounds, requiring that they have access to outdoor space and daily exercise. For seriously ill dogs in need of veterinary care, a compassionate-release clause is included.

These are the changes that the BC SPCA has been calling for after seeing too many situations in which vague legislation has led to unjust suffering of impounded dogs. With this act, we seek to ensure the humane treatment of dogs who end up in the system, while upholding public protection from dangerous dogs.

I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

Bill M238, Community Charter Amendment Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.


Video of Introduction



2) Animal Liability Act, 2017


Text of Introduction


A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled the Animal Liability Act, 2017, of which notice has been given in my name, be introduced and read a first time now.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: I’m pleased to be introducing a bill intituled the Animal Liability Act. According to the Canada Safety Council, more than 460,000 dog bites occur each year in Canada. Over the years, British Columbians have called on B.C. legislators to act. Here in B.C., we do not have adequate laws to ensure that owners are liable for the actions of their pets or animals. Indeed, we only have liability being imposed on the basis of scienter doctrine, negligence or, in some cases, the Occupiers Liability Act.

This bill would ensure that owners are liable for any damages resulting from harm that the animals cause to a person or property. This bill, based on similar legislation that exists in Manitoba, is designed to ensure that owners of animals take ownership seriously and are held responsible for the actions of their pets.

I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

Bill M239, Animal Liability Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.


Video of Introduction



Media Release


Weaver tables bills to ensure responsible pet ownership and the protection of dogs
For immediate release
March 9, 2017

VICTORIA B.C. – In 2015, Buttons the Therapy Dog – who worked at hospitals comforting and cheering up patients – was so aggressively attacked by another dog that he had to be immediately put down.

The owners of the violent dog had been instructed to keep their pet secured and muzzled because of an incident with a different dog just a few months prior. When Buttons walked by with his owners Yvonne and John McDonald, however, it had been left unrestrained. Because of existing B.C. laws, irresponsible pet owners seldom face any consequences for the actions of their dogs. Since losing Buttons, Yvonne and John have been advocating for the need for animal liability laws in B.C.

Today in the legislature, Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, introduced the Animal Liability Act, 2017 and the Community Charter Amendment Act, 2017. The Animal Liability Act is modeled on Manitoba’s legislation and makes owners directly liable for any damages caused by their pets. The Community Charter Amendment Act would add legal clarity and humane treatment standards to Section 49, which regulates special powers in relation to dangerous dogs. Consideration for the circumstances around a dog attack are introduced, as are standards of care for dogs held in long term impounds. For seriously ill dogs in need of veterinary care a compassionate release clause is included.

“The evidence clearly points towards irresponsible pet owners being the problem, but right now our legislation only penalizes the dogs themselves,” said Weaver.

Currently, if a dog severely bites someone, under Section 49 of the Community Charter that dog could be seized and destroyed, but the owner would not necessarily face any charges, be responsible for any damages, or be restricted from future pet-ownership.

“We need clear liability legislation so that owners are required to ensure their pets responsibly trained, well taken care of, behave safely – and that they are held to account if their pet does behave in a dangerous manner,” said Weaver.

“Ultimately I brought this issue forward because there is a gap in our legislative framework in B.C. regarding pets and pet ownership liability. Other provinces have addressed it, and while I don’t think it is wise to follow Ontario’s lead in banning certain breeds, we do need something to ensure that pet owners are responsible for the behaviour of their pets and that there are stiff penalties for not being a responsible pet owner.”

The Animal Liability Act does not, nor is it intended to, put full liability on pet owners if their dog acts out of self defence or in response to aggression. The context that led to a bite is as important as the fact that a bite took place.

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Media contacts
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

 

Responding to Government’s Ridesharing Announcement

Weaver Responds to Government’s Ridesharing Announcement
March 7th, 2017
For immediate release

VICTORIA B.C. – After tabling the Rideshare Enabling Act twice in the B.C. Legislature, MLA Andrew Weaver is glad to see the provincial government also advancing the issue.

“This government initiative is long overdue and a critical issue for the 21st century economy,” says Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party.

Until today, the B.C. Greens have been the only party advocating for the responsible adoption of ridesharing in B.C., with Weaver introducing his Ridesharing Enabling Act in April 2016 and again in February 2017. Weaver held consultations with stakeholders to create the ridesharing framework bill.

“I have been working on this issue for two years, not out of electoral calculation, but rather as a matter of principle. The principle is – as I have stated repeatedly – that if we are to put innovation at the centre of our new economy, we must embrace the best ideas wherever we find them and improve upon them with made-in-BC expertise,” says Weaver.

“You cannot be considered a leader in technology if you are unwilling to embrace embrace technology already in widespread use.”

Earlier this year, more than 20 local tech CEOs penned a public letter to the B.C. Liberal government articulating the very same reasoning.
“My support for ridesharing lies in the fact that it makes good economic sense. And, hand in hand with that, it is also good environmental policy. Ridesharing, in all its forms, means fewer cars, less dependence on oil and gas, and a much smaller carbon footprint.”
“At the same time, I sympathize with the taxi drivers, many of whom have paid very high prices for their licenses. The government has a duty to ensure that existing industries are adequately consulted, and the announcement from the Taxi Driver’s Association suggests they failed to do so.”

It is important to note that Weaver and the B.C. Green Party’s support of ridesharing doesn’t indicate support for one specific ridesharing company.

“All companies doing business in B.C. are expected to be good corporate citizens and a B.C. Green government will hold them to a very high standard,” says Weaver. “In the government’s announcement today they said they ‘expect’ companies to behave when they do business in B.C. – that’s not good enough. A Green government would require them to do so.”

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Media contact
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@leg.bc.ca