REALITY CHECK: The B.C. Liberal Government: A Legacy Of Environmental Hypocrisy

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During the election the B.C. Liberals campaigned on their commitment to the environment. Now, just a few months after the election, here are some of the programs they are slashing before the budget comes out:

  1. Shut down the LiveSmart BC Program
    • What the Liberals said: “The great thing about LiveSmart B.C. is that when you get your audit done, you can do things a little bit at a time and, choose which upgrades to do, that are within your budget. It really it helps both the economy and the environment, when we do these things together.”
      – Premier Gordon Campbell, February 2009
    • What they did: After spending several million dollars advertising the program before the election, the B.C. Liberals axed the LiveSmart program. The popular program provided rebates and incentives to homeowners seeking to make their homes more energy efficient.
  2. Downgraded the Scrap-It program
    • What the Liberals said: “This expansion of the Scrap-It program will help improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the province by getting some of the most polluting vehicles off the road.” 
      – Premier Gordon Campbell, March 29, 2008
    • What they did: The program was forced to reduce its pay out for polluting vehicles from $2,250 to $1,250 because the B.C. Liberals refused to keep pace with the popularity of the program.
  3. Scrapped PST exemptions on environmentally friendly products
    • What the Liberals said: “If you do decide to renovate your home, a tax exemption will be provided on insulation for hot water tanks, pipes and duct work. Energy Star–rated fridges, freezers and washing machines will also be exempt from PST…”
      – Former Finance Minister Carole Taylor, Feb.19, 2008
    • What they did: The B.C. Liberals scrapped PST exemptions on environmentally friendly products with their HST betrayal. If the HST is introduced consumers will be paying seven per cent more on products like bikes, energy efficient appliances and home renovations.
  4. Abandoned Vancouver Island marmots
    • What the Liberals said “The foundation is doing a tremendous job. The success of the breeding and recovery program should be a model for others working with species at risk.”
      – Environment Minister Barry Penner, July 7, 2005
    • What they did: The B.C. Liberal government eliminated their $133,000 grant to the Marmot Recovery Foundation.

The New Democrats have been holding the Campbell Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect the environment, health care, education, and other vital services.