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BC Conservatives release 'alternative throne speech'

The B.C. Conservative Party today released an "alternative throne speech," setting out what it would do if it were governing the province.

In a document available online but not on the party's website, the party offers its views on B.C.'s problems in the past two decades under NDP and Liberal governments. It then sets out some solutions:

The carbon tax is an example of unfair taxation. It hurts farmers and it hurts ranchers.

It has caused grave distress to B.C.’s cement industry, which now has to compete with soaring imports from the U.S.A. and China.

Importantly, the carbon tax discriminates against British Columbians living in the rural parts of our province, residents who simply do not have the transit alternatives which are available to those living in of our major urban centres.

The carbon tax must be repealed.

... We believe in developing B.C.’s natural resources. Too many projects in recent decades have been delayed by lengthy reviews or arbitrarily cancelled altogether.

We believe that the benefits associated with the Northern Gateway Pipeline project far outweigh the perceived environmental risks – and the same is true for the proposed expansion of TransMountain pipeline.

We believe in protecting the environment, but environmental concerns cannot be the sole consideration when new projects are proposed to develop our natural resources.

The time has come for Victoria to significantly increase the resources allocated to skills training and apprenticeships for our young people.

We believe in transportation. Good highways are essential to B.C.’s economic growth. We need to create better access to our natural resources, especially in rural and northern parts of the province.

We believe in safer communities. For too long Victoria has been starving funding for sheriffs, judges and other components of our justice system. Trials have been adjourned for lack of resources, and criminals have been allowed to go free.

The province needs to provide sufficient resources to law enforcement and the judicial system and make our communities safer for law-abiding citizens.

British Columbia is incredibly rich in people and resources. We have the geographic location.

All we need to do, to secure a better future, is to believe in ourselves.

We believe in B.C.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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