The Green Party of British Columbia released its platform today in a 75-page publication called British Columbia’s Green Book, 2009-2013.
The platform calls for drastic changes, including the decommissioning of all gas and diesel power stations by 2015 and a halt on all oil and gas mining for energy generation before 2030.
According to the Green Book, the party will invest in infrastructure renewal, improve healthcare and build affordable housing. This transition into the green economy will create new jobs in environmentally friendly industries, producing thousands of “green collar jobs” which will stimulate the provincial economy.
Also presented in the platform is the Green Party’s plan to provide interest-free loans to small and mid-sized businesses to help locally owned companies make the switch to green energy. The platform also calls for tax increases for businesses and individual practices that cause pollution.
Jane Sterk, leader of the B.C. Greens, told The Tyee her party has yet to assign cost projections to the changes in the platform. But she said there are enough funds in the provincial budget to accomplish what is set out.
“We are not going to be attaching budget numbers because we think that we have to look at how everything is done in the government and reallocate funds,” Sterk said.
If the Greens form the B.C. government, money currently invested in the gas, oil industry would go into renewable energy and Gateway project funding would be completely redirected into the reformation of public transit, Sterk said.
Sterk added that the Greens will run a deficit when they make the initial investments towards greener infrastructure.
“For a different kind of life and a different quality of life, we may need to make an up-front investment,” Sterk said.
The Greens also indicated the deficit they build will be left to future generations to worry about.
“While we move through this recession, Greens will spend more money than we take in; however, we are keenly aware that the money we spend today will need to be paid back by our children in the future,” the B.C. Green Book read.
Morgan J. Modjeski is a staff reporter for The Hook.