NDP Leader Carole James's promise to eliminate the carbon tax has probably elicited the greatest media attention since the platform was released on April 9.
But within the 56-page document are many other pledges that will have an impact on citizens in Metro Vancouver. Here are 15 that caught my attention:
1. Freeze tuition fees and compensate postsecondary institutions for lower revenues that might have otherwise come from students.
2. Close the loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act that allows landlords to evict renters to do renovations, and then rerent the unit at a much higher rate.
3. Strengthen the Agricultural Land Reserve by returning the Agricultural Land Commission "to full provincial status". Premier Gordon Campbell created regional ALC panels with the authority to remove farmland from the ALR. Critics say this has led to more productive farmland being developed for other uses.
4. Restore 2009 funding cuts to the arts and increase the budget of the B.C. Arts Council. Also, provide a new $50-million "capital fund" to the B.C. Arts Council for investment in projects that support the growth and sustainability of professional and community arts, culture, and heritage sectors.
5. Repeal the Significant Projects Streamlining Act. This was B.C. Liberal legislation that gives the provincial government the authority to override municipal zoning decisions.
6. Repeal B.C. Liberal government legislation that took away local politicians' control over the TransLink board and turned it over to a board of directors appointed by a mayors' council after the candidates were vetted by the same mayors council as well as by representatives of the Ministry of Transportation, the Gateway Council, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
7. Keep public forest lands in public hands.
8. Hold a public inquiry into the privatization of B.C. Rail.
9. Hold an inquiry into the missing women on the Downtown Eastside.
10. End the Gordon Campbell government's requirement that B.C. Hydro buys all new energy from private producers.
11. End the Gordon Campbell government's requirement that all capital projects of $50 million or more be built through a public-private partnership.
12. Introduce legislation to prohibit ticket scalping.
13. Support the Therapeutics Initiative.
14. Upgrade St. Paul's Hospital and maintain it as a Centre of Excellence.
15. Include the RCMP in a provincially mandated complaint process.
I must admit that I'm baffled how the NDP can accomplish number 15 on the list when the RCMP is a federal body regulated by the federal government. The Green party has proposed creating a provincial police force and not renewing the provincial contract with the RCMP when it expires in 2012.