Our current first-past-the-post voting system isn't working. Parties that don't get 50 per cent of the vote get all the power and the voices of minority groups often go unheard. It's time for a system where every vote counts.
John Horgan and the BC NDP would hold a referendum on changing our voting system to a proportional system. We'll ensure BC's regions are all represented fairly and we will campaign for the "yes" side.
We'll restore the tax on BC's highest income earners and increase the Corporate Income Tax rate by one point, putting BC's rate on par with Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We'll also collect taxes from the property speculators who are profiting off their interference in Vancouver's housing market.
At the same time we will redirect BC Liberal waste and partisan government spending to programs that matter, like healthcare and education. We'll generate new revenue as we build new schools, roads, hospitals, housing and transit and grow our economy.
Plus we'll eliminate Christy Clark's LNG Fantasy Fund that you paid for with fee hikes and use the money to help eliminate tolls.
By making different choices, and getting our priorities right, we will make life more affordable, improve the services you count on and help create good jobs and a sustainable economy.
We'll do it while working hard to balance the budget each and every year, especially as our economy grows.
Across British Columbia, John Horgan's BC NDP will help people get moving by:
Working with the Metro Vancouver Mayor's Council, Translink and BC Transit to find long and lasting solutions to improve service and ensure that seniors and people with disabilities get the rides they need.
Making much-needed investments in capital projects and buses to support transit in the Capital Regional District and working with local governments to explore the possibility of creating a regional transportation authority.
Leading and promoting efforts to fix the E&N railway tracks so that commuter rail can become an option to eliminate gridlock in the capital region.
Restoring the seniors' discount on BC Ferries, making it free for seniors to travel from Monday to Thursday, except on holidays; reducing fares by 15 per cent on secondary routes; and freezing fares on major routes while conducting a review of BC Ferries cost structures.
Allowing BC shipyards to bid competitively on every new ferry built.
We will take action to create tens of thousands of new, sustainable, permanent jobs while reducing BC's climate change emissions and growing the low-carbon economy.
Setting carbon reduction targets and meeting them
We will renew the Climate Leadership panel and work towards implementing their recommendations. Together, we'll put BC on a path to meeting our legislated 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction target.
Creating good, sustainable jobs that lower our carbon emissions
From investing in reforestation, to building new rapid transit solutions, to a comprehensive clean energy program, the BC NDP will invest in the long-term success of our economy, while doing our part to fight climate change.
Making new carbon taxes predictable, fair and effective
We'll work to provide predictability for BC businesses and protect BC families from facing another hit on their pocketbook - while reducing our emissions.
Capping tuition fee increases at colleges and universities.
Ensuring low and middle income students have access to the assistance they need to get the education they want.
Making student loans interest free - current and future.
Providing a $1,000 Opportunity Award for higher education graduates to help pay down debt.
Supporting the UPass program.
Making Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) free again.
Updating regulations to allow colleges and universities to build affordable on and near-campus rental housing, and ensure student renters receive the renter's tax rebate of $400 per year.
Creating a competitive, merit-based graduate scholarship program designed to attract and retain the best graduate students, based on hard work and talent.
Investing $50M over two years for a new graduate scholarship fund.
Investing $100 million to expand technology-related post-secondary programs and investing in information and communications, digital media and entertainment, life sciences and health, clean-tech, IT and engineering and more.
Partnering with universities throughout BC to build technology and innovation centres in key areas of BC's economy.
We need to restore, replace and repair schools, hospitals, roads and transit. In doing so, we'll create 96,000 real jobs and add $18 billion dollars in economic activity while helping us deliver the services people need.
Building strong communities
Quality schools, good hospitals, recreation centres and transit options are all necessities of communities large and small. We'll invest in all corners of BC, making communities stronger, spurring economic growth and creating good jobs close to home.
Cutting commute times and reducing congestion
Building a better BC means getting you to and from work and school faster and safer. We'll invest in improving roads and in major new transit projects to reduce congestion, get cars off the road and reduce our impact on the environment.
Creating technology infrastructure and innovation centres
We'll partner with universities, colleges, technical institutions and businesses to build and fund specialized innovation centres in the interior and northern BC to make sure all regions of the province benefit from jobs and investment in the new economy.
Building partnerships to fund new infrastructure
Our plan to create 96,000 jobs includes funding partnerships with the federal government, First Nations, municipalities, pension funds, financial institutions and businesses.
We will take action with a comprehensive 10-year plan for affordable housing:
Building 114,000 affordable rental, non-profit and co-op housing units through partnerships over 10 years, building on public land where available. As much as possible, we will build with innovative BC-manufactured wood products, creating new markets for BC wood products and new jobs in BC's forest industry-based communities.
Providing a new renter's rebate of $400 dollars per rental household per year.
Closing the BC Liberals' "fixed term lease" loophole and ensure controls on rent increases are enforced.
Passing legislation requiring fair treatment during renovations and demolitions of rental properties.
Closing loopholes that let speculators dodge taxes and hide their identities, and charging a yearly 2% absentee speculators' tax to crack down on empty homes.
Directing revenue from the absentee speculators' tax into a Housing Affordability Fund.
Establishing a multi-agency task force to fight tax fraud and money laundering in the BC real estate marketplace.
The BC NDP will create a $10 a day childcare plan. It will initially focus on children under the age of two before gradually expanding to cover other pre-kindergarten children.
This plan will be:
Affordable: We will offer full-day care for $10 and part-time care for $7 a day, with no fee for families with annual incomes below $40,000 a year.
Accessible: We will build a childcare system that provides safe care for every child whose family wants or needs it. All children will be welcome and licensed family homes and centres will continue to offer a range of programs that reflect the diversity of BC communities. Families can select the type of childcare that works for them.
Quality: The $10 a day plan invests in the Early Childhood Educator workforce - helping ensure that they are well-educated, well-respected and fairly compensated.
John Horgan's BC NDP will eliminate MSP fees and make sure low and middle income families come out ahead. We'll go ahead with the 2017 budget's 50 per cent reduction and completely eliminate MSP fees within four years, saving families as much as $1,800 a year.
A non-partisan MSP Elimination Panel will advise on how to protect healthcare funding while phasing out this unfair flat tax.
Making life more affordable for people just starting their careers by making all current, future and outstanding BC student loans interest-free.
Creating a new, one-time, Opportunity Award for graduates that will erase $1,000 of BC student debt for every British Columbian student upon graduation from a program of study or completion of an occupational or trades program.
Eliminating fees for Adult Basic Education and ESL.
Capping tuition fees at colleges and universities.
Introducing a new graduate student scholarship fund to encourage excellence in BC's graduate programs.
John Horgan's BC NDP will bring in a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2021, with increases each year. Phasing the increases in will allow businesses to adjust, ensuring that jobs aren't put at risk and that employment in minimum wage sectors actually increases - as has been the case in Seattle. Once we reach $15 an hour, we will index the minimum wage to inflation to ensure we don't fall behind.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will take action to make our healthcare system work for you. We will make improving your access to family doctors and other medical professionals the top priority for our Ministry of Health. We'll develop a new urgent care model that gets emergency room visitors the healthcare support they need faster, and we'll help rural British Columbians with an improved medical travel allowance.
At the same time, we will:
Reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
Invest in new hospitals and care facilities in communities across BC, plus home care and quality long-term care for BC seniors.
Establish Urgent Family Care Centres across BC (open evenings and weekends), to help you get the one-on-one healthcare you need with the support of a full medical team.
Invest in more paramedics, so that no one is left waiting for an ambulance in their time of critical need.
Implement province-wide coordination to manage and actively monitor waitlists and speed up service delivery.
Stop the decline in rural health services.
Fund UBC's Therapeutics Initiative properly to keep drug costs down and patients safe.
Work with the federal government to create a national pharmacare program and bulk purchasing of medication to keep costs low.
Remove the age restriction on the insulin pump program for British Columbians living with diabetes.
Giving support to seniors to stay at home as long as possible is the right thing to do. We will increase the length of home support visits and expand the scope of services provided - helping seniors stay in their homes longer, reducing stress on family friends and other unpaid caregivers.
Seniors who move into residential care can expect increased support and more accountability from providers and their staff, so they receive the high-quality, dignified relationship-based care they deserve. We will conduct a review to establish and maintain safe staffing levels that aren't disrupted by contracting out or contract flipping.
We'll develop an all-party Select Standing Committee on Seniors. This committee will be tasked with refreshing the Council on Aging and Seniors' 2006 Report, making recommendations to the Legislature and monitoring and reporting on the implementation of those recommendations.
To make mental health treatment and addictions support a priority, we will create a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. This new ministry will work with the Ministry of Children and Families, the Ministry of Health, local governments, First Nations and the education and justice systems so patients get treatment early and effectively.
For people in crisis needing immediate help, a BC NDP government will take an "Ask Once, Get Help Fast" approach to mental health and addictions. We will ensure children and adolescents can access specially trained adolescent mental health professionals within the school system, where early identification and support can lead to healthier lives and prevent a lifetime of illness.
Since nearly 60% of people struggling with addiction also experience other mental health challenges, a BC NDP government will bring those services together to help those most in need. We'll provide access to a wide range of evidence-based and regulated treatment, including licensing our current recovery house system, enhancing supports post-detox, and improving access to harm reduction options that save lives.
For people whose health will only improve with intensive, residential-based treatment, we will reopen facilities on the Riverview lands to provide residential care.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will ensure access to justice is fair, timely and affordable by:
Hiring new court sheriffs immediately to bring the number back to a historical norm of 525 so fewer accused criminals walk away free without trial.
Implementing the Surrey Accord and bringing together all levels of government to create a safer, healthier community and address crime, mental health, addiction and homelessness.
Providing $500,000 a year in stable, secure funding for Surrey's Wraparound (WRAP) program to connect teens at risk of joining gangs with outreach workers, teachers and police.
Taking pressure off the courts by reducing the number of people forced to represent themselves because of a lack of resources.
Improving access to justice by hiring more staff for the Court Services Branch, increasing access to dispute resolutions services for families, expanding poverty law services and supporting First Nations legal services.
Working with First Nations to set targets and take action to reduce the number of Aboriginal people facing our justice system and to reduce incarceration rates.
Recognizing culture for its role in rehabilitation and recovery and providing culturally diverse and appropriate programming in prisons, particularly for Aboriginal people.
Providing $8 million per year in funding to support women experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will protect temporary foreign workers by bringing in a Temporary Foreign Worker registry to give government the information it needs to protect workers. While the majority of employers are responsible, the few who are not hurt workers, damage Canada's reputation, and compete unfairly against other honest BC businesses. We'll also end the collection of illegal recruitment fees by requiring recruiters and employers to register Temporary Foreign Workers.
We'll break down barriers to success preventing immigrants from using their professional experience to find meaningful work. This includes the creation of a Centre for Newcomers to help coordinate and educate skilled newcomers in their fields and reversing the BC Liberal cuts to funding for Adult Basic Education and English language courses for immigrants.
At the same time, we'll improve support for refugees to ensure they can build happy and successful new lives here while working with the federal government to increase BC's quota under the Provincial Nominee Program and increase BC's control over the terms of qualification.
John Horgan's BC NDP will work with both the taxi industry and ridesharing services to create a truly fair approach to ridesharing in British Columbia that doesn't unfairly benefit - or punish - one group over the other. This includes:
Working with stakeholders across BC to level up standards across the province and ensure British Columbians can count on low-cost predictable fares, accessible services, safe cars and drivers subject to appropriate criminal record checks.
Creating a level playing field for all providers and respecting the people currently in the people-moving industry without giving one group of drivers an unfair advantage over the other.
Developing a plan that protects passengers from price gouging, particularly after sporting events, concerts and on special occasions and holidays when demand is highest.
For John Horgan's BC NDP, a strong economy is when everyone is doing better. Where life gets a little easier each month, not harder. Where people like you are rewarded for working hard, with good wages, job security and a safe place to work. This includes: