By Damian Kettlewell
The B.C. Green party has been knocking on doors of the legislature in Victoria for 30 years.
In this, our eighth campaign to elect MLAs, the prospect of electoral success has never looked so promising for the B.C. Greens.
Federal Green leader Elizabeth May set the wheels in motion in when she was elected in 2011, Canada's first Green MP, to represent the residents Saanich–Gulf Islands in Ottawa.
Elizabeth was subsequently voted by her 304 MP peers as Canada's 2012 Parliamentarian of the Year for her performance in the House of Commons.
Elizabeth’s success in B.C. and Ottawa and a strong local campaign resulted in the Greens also making huge gains in last November’s federal by-election in Victoria, losing by less than three percent.
Now the electoral battle lines are drawn for May 14 across B.C. and we are cautiously optimistic that B.C. Green candidates in and around Victoria will break through.
The B.C. Green policy is evidenced-based, supported by peer reviews and is thus resonating with voters across B.C.
Our persistent campaigning and innovative ideas have resulted in a number of our early policies (e.g. carbon tax, junk food out of schools, stopping pipelines) being implemented by other parties.
Our long-term focus on ending cannabis prohibition and moving to a regulated and tax environment resulted in heckling through the 80s and 90s, but now public support is on our side in this arena.
When you vote for and elect Green candidates, they will help build better communities by decreasing taxes on individuals and industries that promote health and increase taxes on pollution, waste, and unhealthy living.
A number of our candidates are world-class experts on the climate crisis and will bring the right ideas to the legislature that will make B.C. safer for our children.
We acknowledge our expertise in environmental matters, but the B.C. Greens have evolved to a multidisciplinary party that promotes new, transformative policy that will improve the health, education, and welfare for all British Columbians.
The taxpayers of today can be confident that Greens can dissect financial statements and prepare budgets when provided with all the facts.
We promote a new generation of green jobs in fields of energy efficiency, local organic agriculture, technology, and the creative industries. We will work to become true stewards of our abundant natural resources and plan more transit-resilient communities so we can attract more high-tech jobs. One high-tech job creates 4.3 other local jobs in the community; thus we need to ensure that our provincial taxation system is attractive to technology companies and their employees.
We support bold goals like Vancouver being the greenest city, by 2020 as it will make us an attractive destination for foreign firms to set up research and development offices and create jobs.
The B.C. Greens will champion the safety of wild salmon and lobby for new endangered species legislation without delay.
We will stop the practice of putting antifreeze and other toxic chemicals into our water tables in the gas-fracking process. We will conserve what remains of our old-growth forests.
Welfare reform and a guaranteed livable income is something B.C. needs to debate in Victoria.
BC's postsecondary students should not have the highest student-loan interest rates in the country.
British Columbians need more access to preventative, complementary and alternative medical treatments through funding models that promote wellness and focus on improving our quality of life.
Green MLAs in Victoria will signal to the world that British Columbians are serious about preserving our resources for future generations and building strong local economies not reliant on megaprojects, long-term accumulation of debt, and the exporting of raw logs.
B.C. Greens are attracting voters from all backgrounds and now we need you support. We ask voters to be bold on May 14 and vote with their heart for a party that they know will make policy decisions with our provinces’ next seven generations in mind.
Please vote Green locally and let your friends and family in south Vancouver Island that we need their support more than ever to make history and build a better B.C.
Damian Kettlewell is the Green candidate in Vancouver-Quilchena and his party's former deputy leader.