Inside the NDP-Green governing agreement

Raise carbon tax, cut MSP premiums and raise minimum wage to $15

The cooperation agreement between the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Green Party calls for increasing the carbon tax starting next year, “immediately” beginning measures to stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and establish a “fair wages commission” to move to a minimum wage of “at least” $15 an hour.

NDP and Green MLAs met at the B.C. legislature Tuesday to sign the agreement, to be forwarded with a letter to Lt. Governor Judith Guichon this week asking for consideration of their status to govern. Opposition MLAs signed the agreement minutes after Premier Christy Clark announced she will call a new session to present a speech from the throne. That would be the united opposition’s first opportunity to defeat the government and propose an NDP government supported by the Greens.

With an NDP government supported by three B.C. Green MLAs, the carbon tax would rise by $5 to $35 a tonne in April 2018, continuing to rise by $5 a year until it reaches $50 a tonne by 2021, as dictated by the federal government.

The parties have agreed to proceed with a 50-per-cent reduction of Medical Services Plan in January 2018, as promised in the NDP platform. The NDP intends to stick to its plan to eliminate MSP entirely within four years, with some of the burden shifting to the income tax system.

The agreement does not include specifics on liquefied natural gas, but meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets would make it more difficult for large projects to proceed.

Education, seniors care, child care and Metro Vancouver transit improvements are listed as priorities for improvement, but there are few specifics. The agreement echoes the NDP platform, pledging to meet government guidelines for for public and private care homes.

READ: full agreement here

Other highlights of the agreement:

• Neither party has the right to unilaterally dissolve parliament, which would sit for four and a half years to move the scheduled election date to the fall of 2021. Spring and fall sessions of the B.C. legislature would be made mandatory.

• Legislation would be introduced to hold a referendum on proportional representation in the fall of 2018.

• The Greens are recognized as a third party, which provides additional money for support staff and increased pay for the leader, house leader and caucus whip.

• Both parties recognize the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation agreement.

• Put BC Hydro’s Site C dam project to immediate review by the B.C. Utilities Commission, but construction would continue, with major contracts already let and work in the river underway.

BC Election 2017BC Votes 2017

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read