REALITY CHECK: B.C. Liberals And New Democrats On The Environment: Hypocrisy Vs. Real Sustainability

Posted in:

While the B.C. Liberals cut programs and contradict themselves on climate change, New Democrats have been calling for significant action to protect the environment:

On coastal oil drilling…

  • B.C. Liberals: Continue to lobby the federal government to lift the ban on coastal oil drilling and flood the market with more fossil fuels.
  • New Democrats: Are fighting to maintain the ban on coastal drilling and protect our pristine north coast from catastrophic oil spills.

On transit…

  • B.C. Liberals: Failed to fund their Metro Vancouver transit plan, and left many growing communities without the resources they need to make transit a more attractive option for individuals and families.
  • New Democrats: Have proposed a Green Fund that would invest $150 million a year of carbon tax revenues directly in transit improvements and other climate solutions for communities, rather than in tax breaks for large corporations.

On energy efficiency…

  • B.C. Liberals: Eliminated LiveSmart B.C., which encouraged homeowners to retrofit their homes and become more energy efficient. They also introduced the HST, a new tax on bicycles and energy efficient appliances, and cut the annual facilities grant for public schools, scuttling many energy efficiency projects that were already underway.
  • New Democrats: Have put forward a plan to increase energy efficiency and reduce the demand for new electricity by retrofitting and greening homes, businesses and public buildings with financial support through funds raised by a Green Bond.

On sustainable power…

  • B.C. Liberals: Removed oversight, allowing private companies to stake claims on hundreds of rivers across the province. They also stripped communities of the right to say no to power projects and exempted energy developments under 50 megawatts from environmental assessment.
  • New Democrats: Are calling for a made-in-B.C. energy policy which takes the cumulative effects of energy developments into account and protects important wilderness areas from fragmentation.

On environmental conservation…

  • B.C. Liberals: Have cut the number of conservation officers by 60 per cent since 2001.
  • New Democrats: Are calling for more conservation officers and park rangers to protect our parks and wilderness areas and encourage our multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

On protecting our watersheds from coalbed methane…

  • B.C. Liberals: Opened the headwaters of the Skeena, Stikine and Nass rivers and have pushed coalbed methane extraction on communities that do not want to put their water at risk from this potentially dangerous resource extraction.
  • New Democrats: Support greater community consultation and an enhanced, environmental assessment process.

On species at risk…

  • B.C. Liberals: Refuse to bring in stand-alone species at risk legislation.
  • New Democrats: Are fighting for species at risk legislation that focuses on the need to protect habitat.

On toxins…

  • B.C. Liberals: Continue to stall instead of taking immediate action to ban the non-essential use of toxic lawn chemicals that pollute drinking water and poison ecosystems.
  • New Democrats: Have put forward legislation to restrict the cosmetic use of pesticides and lawn care products, to protect our environment and the health of our children.

On local food…

  • B.C. Liberals: Significantly weakened the Agricultural Land Reserve and made it illegal to buy meat directly from local farmers.
  • New Democrats: Believe in reducing the number of food miles our meals travel by protecting our world-renowned Agricultural Land Reserve and restoring the right to buy local meat from local farmers.