15 intriguing promises in Carole James's NDP platform

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.



Ken Hardie

Apr 13, 2009 at 2:12pm

Charlie, it is incorrect to say that the provincial government appointed TransLink's Board of Directors. They did not. A screening panel identified qualified candidates and the region's mayors made the final selection.

Charlie Smith

Apr 13, 2009 at 2:26pm

Ken is referring to number six on the list. I initially wrote that the provincial government appointed the board of directors. I changed the copy after Ken's note, which you see above, to reflect the reality: the board is appointed by the mayors council following a vetting process by representatives of several organizations, including the Ministry of Transporation. I took solace in Ken's point that many people in the media have made the same error. We assume that it was a provincial takeover of TransLink. In fact, the provincial government dumped the board of elected officials and replace it with an appointed board via third parties like the Gateway Council and the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Searching for the truth

Apr 13, 2009 at 4:06pm

And we know that that the Gateway Council and the Board of Trade are the right and left arms of the Gordon Campbell Liberals.

I wonder how much poor Ken gets to keep the level of TransLink spin believable?

TransLink was never a democratic board at all, but what we have now is far worse as the taxpayer has absolutely no say whatever in this ponderous bureaucracy.

The TransLink Board was changed because the 'old guard' of Mayors did there homework and found that RAV was a very bad deal for the taxpayer and after 3 votes, the Campbellites (with a Senatorship, etc. thrown in) voted in favour of the metro.

In a fit of pique, Campbell ordered is pitbull Falcon to throw out the old board and install a board of 'experts'. There is not one transit expert on the present board which was vetted by pro-Liberal cronies and the hapless Mike Harcourt.

Today the "Liberal" TransLink Board of cronies, is nothing more than a rubber-stamp for Gordon Campbell, the man in charge of transit in the region.


Apr 15, 2009 at 3:59pm

While the provincial government didn't appoint the new "taxation without representation" TransLink board, who decided the composition of the screening panel? Hmmm......oh yes, the government. And why were there no labour or community representatives on it? That's an easy one!

stephen elliott-buckley


Apr 18, 2009 at 1:59pm

As a teacher, I'm more concerned with Carol James' promise of reducing class sizes and providing more funding for the large ESL student population in our schools and increasing teacher-librarian time for improved literacy in schools. All of these resources have decreased so much and are putting a major stress on schools in Vancouver especially