For immediate release
February 8th, 2022
VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus has issued the following statement in response to the Speech from the Throne:
“Today’s Speech from the Throne rightfully acknowledged the sacrifices and loss that British Columbians have faced over the last year – but, instead of offering a vision for the future, the government patted themselves on the back for past initiatives and re-announced projects that have been underway for years,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Cowichan Valley.
“Solving the overlapping crises that British Columbians are facing will require a level of honesty that we are yet to see. What we need to see is humility and transparency from this government . Right now, people are losing confidence in our democracy. A hopeful vision for the future must be grounded in truth.
“We are heartened that inequality and climate change will be the focus of this year’s budget, as they were glaring omissions from previous budgets. We agree that we are facing a climate emergency. Moving forward, it is important to remember that climate delay is the new climate denial, and this government’s ongoing support for the oil and gas industry are direct contradictions to their symbolic commitments to reduce emissions.
“This government continues to promote vaccines as the primary tool to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to employ a strategy that recognizes this is an airborne virus, and the government needs to invest in the tools that can help keep people safer, including N95 masks, filtration, ventilation, and rapid tests. As demonstrated by the Premier in the chamber today, one of the best additional defenses to protect us against COVID is an N95 mask – it’s the most basic tool we have against an airborne virus and should be made available to all, not just those who can afford it.”
“We must recognize that our natural infrastructure offers our greatest protection against impacts from climate change. We need Indigenous-led conservation and to focus on building biodiversity, food security, and resilient communities,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “This includes putting forward long overdue species at risk legislation, which was not mentioned by this government for the second year in a row.
“This government fails to recognize the ongoing crisis in our healthcare system. Over 800,000 British Columbians are without a family doctor and it is getting worse. Doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are leaving the profession en masse.
“We are hopeful to see this government move forward on furthering reconciliation by establishing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’s Act (DRIPA) Secretariat. This must be Indigenous-led, and I hope to see this Secretariat immediately established under the Office of the Premier.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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