BC Greens Platform Seeks Changes to Transit Funding and Municipal Funding System

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The BC Greens Party is calling for reform of the financial system used by local governments to help them better address problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Green Chief Sonia Furstenau says British Columbia has a “unique” chance to keep some of the changes brought about by the pandemic and improve the quality of life for residents.

The Greens’ election platform points on livability and public transport, released on Saturday, call on the province to work more closely with local governments to create pedestrian neighborhoods, explore modernization of municipal revenue models and reform the financial system of local governments.

Local governments are too dependent on property taxes to fund new projects, Furstenau said.

“The current model of local government funding makes local governments primarily dependent on property taxes, which are regressive and inadequate to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” she said.

The party is calling for a change in funding for public transit as providers face declining revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot let these public goods fall behind or let our public transport infrastructure be compromised by the pandemic,” Furstenau said.

She cited southern Vancouver Island as an area in need of an improved transit system to cope with a growing population.

The Greens did not have an estimate of the cost of the points in the plan.

When asked to provide a cost estimate, Furstenau said the other two main parties were making short-term promises to garner votes instead of long-term solutions to help the province cope with the economic fallout. of the pandemic.

Other platform pledges include increased provincial funding for projects such as bike paths, trails, parks, community spaces, and pedestrian streets.

The promises of the Richmond hospital

The Greens’ announcement comes as the NDP and British Columbia Liberals clash over a proposed plan to build a new tower at Richmond Hospital.

The NDP promised a new nine-story tower for the hospital in a July announcement, with 220 additional beds as well as a new emergency room, pharmacy, another intensive care unit, an emergency room. medical imaging and pediatric, surgical and mental extension. health services.

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson criticized the delay in construction, adding that he saw it as the latest in a series of promises the NDP government failed to keep and promised to build a new tower to hospital if elected.

“This hospital was approved by the BC Liberals in 2016. It was then handed over to the NDP in 2017 when they took office and they did not accomplish anything,” he said at the meeting. ‘a press conference.

Wilkinson said the Liberals would make building the tower a priority if elected.

Wilkinson reiterated his belief that governments around the world would run deficits over the next few years and that now is the time to spend money on infrastructure projects.

“We all learned during the Depression and World War II that there is time for spending to be necessary. And this is one of them, ”he said.

“Our economy is in trouble and this is the time when the government’s borrowing power must be used. “

New Democrat candidate and former health minister Adrian Dix defended his party’s plan to overhaul his party’s hospitals.

“The people of Richmond have waited a long time and we are moving forward with a hospital project that everyone can be proud of,” he said at an afternoon press conference.

The plan announced in July contains significant changes from the plan announced several years earlier, he added.

The NDP also said on Saturday that it would build a new school in the Olympic Village if elected.

Parents have complained about the lack of schools in the area, launching petitions and websites to try to address their concerns.



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