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Media Release

Auditor General’s report demonstrates it’s time to get serious on climate action plan

It’s been a busy day in the BC Legislature. Right after Question Period, the Speaker presented the Auditor General’s report entitled Managing Climate Change Risks.

Not surprisingly, the Auditor General concludes that “government is not adequately managing the risks posed by climate change” and that “government has not taken adequate action to meet provincial emission reduction targets”.

Below are my comments on the release of this welcome report.


Media Release


Weaver: Auditor General’s report demonstrates it’s time to get serious on climate action plan
For immediate release
February 15, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, released the following statement on the Auditor General’s report, Managing Climate Change Risks: An Independent Audit.

“The Auditor General’s finding that the government is not adequately managing the risks posed by climate change is extremely serious and deserve our immediate attention,” said Weaver.

“The unfortunate trend of politicians making grand statements about the importance of climate action and then doing nothing to meet our targets must end. In 2008 we were world leaders in climate action. The previous B.C. Liberal government not only failed to build on the Climate Action Plan, but dismantled the elements of the plan that were already in place. Now, the Auditor General has found that the government has done little to address the effects of climate change that are already underway.

“The risks of inaction to our province are enormous. Climate change has unique ramifications for each of B.C.’s precious ecosystems. We need to be honest with British Columbians: do our targets mean anything? If we truly care about the impacts of climate change on the next generation, we must follow our words with decisive action.

“Through our inaction we risk following behind greater global economic trends. In this minority government, we have an opportunity to make climate leadership a foundational accomplishment that drives our vision for the future of the province. We need a diversified, sustainable 21st century economy – one that will serve today’s generation without burdening generations to come. Other jurisdictions worldwide are reaping the economic rewards of the explosive growth in renewable energy. B.C. has everything we need to be a leader cleantech – just today it was announced that B.C. will receive a portion of federal supercluster funding. It’s time to stop chasing the sunset industries of yesterday and embrace these exciting opportunities.”

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

Welcoming all-party committee report on ride-hailing

For the past two years I have been working to implement a legislative framework to enable transportation network companies (also known as ridehailing or ridesharing companies) to operate in British Columbia. I’ve introduced a private members’ bill not once, nor twice but rather three times in the past to try and move this issue forward.

In last fall’s session, the BC Government agreed to move a motion to send the issue of ridesharing to a select standing committee for further deliberations. That motion passed on November 28, 2017 with the support of the BC NDP and the BC Green caucuses, despite every BC Liberal MLA voting against it.

After extensive public consultations and committee deliberations, the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations completed its report which was released today. The report, entitled Transportation Network Companies in British Columbia, provides 32 recommendations to government as it develops legislation to enable ridesharing in this province.

As you will see from my comments during debate on the motion to adopt the report (reproduced in video and text below), I believe the process that led to its development provides an excellent example of collaborative work across party lines.

I am delighted that we now have a pathway forward. I’ll continue to work in the BC Legislature to ensure government introduces legislation in a timely fashion. There really are no longer any excuses for delay.

Below I also reproduce the media release that we released upon adoption of the report.


Video of my Statement



Text of my Statement


A. Weaver: It gives me great pleasure to rise and speak to the motion before us and thank the Chair and Deputy Chair for their work in guiding us through this process.

I will say that this is a wonderful example of collaborative work across party lines. We came together as individuals with diverse points of view, with diverse positions, and we came together to come up with a list of recommendations that were unanimously accepted. I think it serves well for future examples of how committees can work in British Columbia to put the betterment of all people front and centre and to recognize that disruptive technologies are critical to embrace while, at the same time, taking steps to do so in a manner that’s fair to those that are already existing here in this province.

Again, I’d like to thank the committee Chair, my committee members, as well as the incredible staff in the B.C. legislative committee Clerk’s office, who unbelievably were able to put together these vast testimonies from a diverse array of expert witnesses in such a short turnover. Without their good work and hard work, we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are.

Thank you to everyone involved and thank you to the government for initiating this process.


Media Release


Weaver welcomes all-Party Committee report on ride-hailing
For immediate release
February 15, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, welcomed the release of the all-Party Committee report on ride-hailing. The committee was struck after Weaver introduced a Private Member’s Bill to enable ride-hailing in B.C. for the third time last Fall.

“This report represents exactly how our legislature should work: Members from all parties examining the evidence, engaging with the public and stakeholders and collaborating constructively towards a consensus,” said Weaver.

“The recommendations in this report should provide government with a useful guide towards a regulatory regime that all parties can support. It is essential that B.C.’s regulatory regime include considerations for public safety, workers’ rights, consumer protection and insurance. The government is also undertaking an effort to modernise the taxi industry – this can and should be done concurrently with the introduction of ride-hailing.

“Earlier today, Abacus Data released a poll indicating that 64% of British Columbians support bringing in ride-hailing by the end of this year. Only 9% of British Columbians are opposed. 6 years after ride-hailing companies first attempted to enter the B.C. market, Vancouver remains the largest city in North America without access to this service.

“Government has all the pieces it needs to move forward. There is no reason why B.C. should not have ride-hailing by the end of the year.”-30-

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

Congratulations BC Digital Technology Supercluster on receiving federal innovation funding

Today the Federal Government announced the results of its Innovation Superclusters Initiative. I am absolutely thrilled that the B.C.-based Digital Technology Supercluster consortium was selected as one of five successful national programs to share a portion of $950 million in federal innovation funding. As noted in the BC government’s announcement, more than $500 million in private sector funding has also been committed to the BC-based supercluser project.

Below I attach our media release congratulating the Digital Technology Supercluster consortium.


Media Release


Weaver congratulates B.C.-led supercluster on federal innovation funding
For immediate release
February 15, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, congratulated the B.C. Digital Technology Supercluster on receiving a portion of the federal innovation funding.

“B.C.’s growing tech sector will lead the future economic growth of this province,” said Weaver.

“I have had the pleasure of meeting with a number of the companies involved in the Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. They are diverse, innovative and deeply committed to seeing success in British Columbia. I extend my sincere congratulations to the team and look forward to watching them grow.

“I am particularly encouraged by the engagement of the resource sector in this supercluster. Technological innovation goes far beyond the excellent startups in our cities – there is an incredible opportunity to bring innovation together with our resource sector to create jobs and economic growth across the province.

“I am proud to be part of championing innovation in this province. Two of our key platform commitments – the Innovation Commissioner and the Emerging Economy Task Force – are being implemented as part of our Confidence and Supply Agreement with the government. We will continue to advocate for policies and initiatives that will ensure that B.C. is a leader in the immeasurable opportunities of the 21st century economy.”

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

Welcoming provincial measures to support B.C. wines

On February 10, the BC Green caucus called on the BC Government to take steps to promote the BC wine industry in light of Alberta’s recent petty announcement that it was initiating a boycott.

We are delighted that the BC Government today announced a number of measures to support and promote the BC Wine Industry.

Below is the media release we issued in response to this announcement.


Media Release


B.C. Green Caucus welcomes provincial measures to support B.C. wines
For immediate release
February 14, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, welcomed the government’s measures to support the B.C. wine industry. Weaver previously called for a number of the same measures on February 10.

“I am glad that our government is standing up for this signature B.C. industry,” said Weaver.

“We called for a number of these measures last week because our wine industry represents the exact type of business we should be championing in this province. B.C.’s wineries are innovative, homegrown businesses that generate significant economic activity for communities across the province. After seeing the previous government relentlessly chase economically unviable sunset industries like LNG, it is frankly refreshing to see our government focus on sustainable local businesses.”

“I had the opportunity to meet with a number of Okanagan wineries over the past couple weeks. We have heard many exciting ideas about how we can better support them. Smaller wineries in particular benefit from a focus on tourism that brings people to B.C. We will continue to push for measures that will help B.C. wineries of all sizes thrive.”

Adam Olsen, B.C. Green Party spokesperson for Agriculture, added, “I am delighted that Minister Popham is stepping up to support B.C wine. B.C.’s wine industry generates $2 billion worth of economic activity and they’re growing: between 2003 and 2016, the number of B.C. wineries increased from 81 to to 273. We are only seeing the beginning of the success for this incredible industry.”

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

My initial response to the BC Throne Speech

The 3rd session of the 41st parliament opened today with the Speech from the Throne. Below I reproduce our media release outlining my initial reactions. I will be providing a more extensive analysis during the throne speech debates tomorrow.


Media Release


Weaver responds to Throne Speech
For immediate release

February 13, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver responded today to the Speech from the Throne.

“I am encouraged to see our shared values represented in today’s Throne Speech,” said Weaver.

“The focus on housing and child care and early childhood education represent policies that we have heard are top priorities for British Columbians across the province.

“However, we await details in next week’s budget as to how these values will be implemented in government policy. British Columbians are facing an affordability crisis and they deserve to see a strong vision and bold action from this government.

“I am glad to hear the government acknowledge that the first step to solving the housing crisis must be to address demand and speculation, both foreign and domestic. What’s critical is that these measures are bold enough to make a difference for British Columbians. Our caucus has long maintained that taking strong demand-side action is critical to improving housing affordability. Houses should be for homes for people to live in, not commodities for speculation. I hope to see significant demand-side action in the budget next week.

“While it’s positive to see a focus on childcare, going forward we hope to see far more emphasis on the importance of high quality early childhood education. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide the next generation of British Columbians with the best possible head start – and well paid, high quality educators must be at the centre of this transformation. Sonia Furstenau, our spokesperson on this issue, will continue to advocate for an evidence-based approach to early childhood education so that our children can succeed in our fast-changing world.

“While I appreciate the government reiterating its commitment to take steps to meet our climate target, we must get beyond rhetoric. Our caucus’ role is to ensure that the days of politicians vowing to take action on climate and then doing nothing must end. Actions, not words, are what are required to meet our responsibility to the next generation. I look forward to working with Minister Heyman to enact a climate action strategy to meet our targets so that we can become leaders in climate action once again.”

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