In recent years, communities across British Columbia have unified in opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal. This movement has galvanized long-time advocates for social justice, students, gardeners, artists, families, young aboriginal activists, and respected elders alike to stand side by side. They have united and articulated their vision for British Columbia’s future: a future that respects the First People of this land; a vision that protects the integrity of our ecosystems and species at risk; an approach that ensures clean air and clean water for future generations to come.
As part of the B.C. NDP team, and as the former critic for jobs, economic development, and trade, I am proud to support these strong voices in our communities. Lifting the tanker moratorium on the North Coast is not a good idea. Radically transforming the Port of Vancouver into a major oil sands export facility is not a good idea. Jeopardizing fragile habitats and sacred lands is not a good idea. It’s too much of a risk to our environment and our economy. Instead, we want to build a sustainable, diversified economy.
I am excited that the B.C. NDP proposes to begin this work with a significant re-investment in forest health and enhanced food security. We want to add value to our raw logs. We want to support our local food producers and local economies with Feed B.C., Buy B.C., and Grow B.C. initiatives, along with measures to nurture B.C.’s local craft brewers and distilleries. We want to recognize B.C.’s diverse economies and key regional specialities. We want to get innovators working to build a strong knowledge economy. We believe in strengthening B.C.’s creative economy with strategic investments in film and TV, the high-tech sector, and support for the B.C. Arts Council.
These values strongly reflect the voices of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. You deserve a better approach to our economy. By investing in B.C.’s most valuable resource, the people, the B.C. NDP will be investing in B.C.’s economy. Making postsecondary education more affordable and accessible, funding skills training, and improving recognition of foreign credentials will help close B.C.’s productivity gap, while laying the foundation for a greener jobs base.
As a parent to two young children, I also have very personal reasons for wanting to see these changes. I know that we can’t wait any longer to act. The legacy of the future is in our hands and the time to act is now. But we can’t do it without your support.
I am asking for your support on May 14, so that I can keep working for you to tackle these and other crucial issues. Government can’t do everything, but we must get the fundamentals right. I am proud to say that, as part of Adrian Dix’s B.C. NDP team, I too will stand with you to protect our environment and close the inequality gap, for now and for the future.