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B.C. party platforms tackle labour, infrastructure, development

Russell Hixson
B.C. party platforms tackle labour, infrastructure, development
SCREENSHOT COURTESY OF CBC NEWS

British Columbians will head to the polls to decide the direction to take the province on Oct. 24. The BC NDP, BC Liberals and BC Green Party have all released their platforms. Here are some of the major campaign promises that could impact the construction industry.

 

BC NDP

  • Bring costs down for housing developers by eliminating parking minimums in projects close to public transit, developing a single-window provincial permitting process and working with communities to streamline approval processes at the local level.
  • Widen Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley by 2026 to ease congestion.
  • Complete the Skytrain expansion project from Surrey to Langley.
  • Support mass timber, making it a priority building material in public projects.
  • Tie the minimum wage to inflation.
  • Establish a new Worker Training and Job Opportunity Office to retrain workers, support resource communities and develop higher value goods.
  • Improve Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards to help drive more global projects and create new jobs.
  • Increase workplace safety inspections.
  • Restore the compulsory trades system to increase access to apprenticeships and increase safety.
  • Commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Support carbon capture tech projects in the province.
  • Give local governments the power set their own carbon pollution performance standards for new buildings.
  • Require realtors to provide energy efficiency information on listed homes.
  • Accelerate energy efficiency retrofits.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of oil and natural gas royalty credits.
  • Continue to support Community Benefits Agreements for public projects.

 

BC Liberals

  • Eliminate Provincial Sales Tax for one year and then set it at three per cent.
  • Eliminate Small business Income Tax.
  • Appoint an independent Fair Tax Commission to review all provincial taxes.
  • Invest an additional $8 billion in infrastructure improvements over three years.
  • Encourage students to pursue and complete apprenticeship training by streamlining registrations and credentials.
  • Bring trades competency into the school system and expand secondary school trades programs to begin credentialing earlier.
  • Require companies with at least 50 employees to report the compensation paid to categories of male and female employees, via the Equal Pay Reporting Act.
  • Establish an incentive fund for municipalities with housing policies that enable demonstrable increases in the construction and supply of new housing.
  • Require reviews of Official Community Plans every five years that can inform changes to zoning bylaws.
  • Work with the federal government to review scheduled increases on the Carbon Tax.
  • Immediately replace the George Massey Tunnel with a 10-lane bridge with a dedicated transit/HOV lane in each direction.
  • Continue TransLink expansion to areas south of the Fraser, into the Fraser Valley and into North Vancouver.
  • Widen the Trans-Canada highway in the Fraser Valley to six lanes all the way to Whatcom Road.
  • Build a new Surrey Hospital, a new acute care tower for Richmond Hospital, Mills Memorial Hospital and the Burnaby Hospital Redevelopment.
  • Increase funding for road and bridge maintenance in rural areas.
  • Provide small businesses with support for personal protective equipment from WorkSafeBC surpluses.
  • Provide full disclosure of the basis for WorkSafeBC premiums.
  • Appoint a non-partisan panel to explore options to reduce red tape for small businesses.
  • Expedite LNG export projects through collaborative agreements with Indigenous groups and work with them to establish accelerated review and approval processes.
  • Improve the process for mine development, permitting, inspection and remediation, and cut the permit-processing time in half.
  • Expedited approach to certify mass timber products for structural construction.
  • Support development of mass timber structural products.
  • Eliminate community benefits agreements for public projects.

 

BC Green Party

  • Provide $100 million in new funding to create a new capital program in the Ministry of Education to fund the renovation and additions to existing schools to support ECE spaces.
  • Taking a housing-first approach to accelerate investments to affordable, supportive and social housing on a priority basis.
  • Co-ordinate with local governments to expand the “missing middle,” such as townhouses and triplexes.
  • Work with local governments develop more walkable neighbourhoods, complete communities, active transportation and healthy community design.
  • Develop climate and sustainability criteria that will be applied to all future capital projects including transportation infrastructure investments.
  • Work with local governments to establish a long-term plan for sustainable transportation as the population of the South Island grows.
  • Commit to be carbon neutral by 2045.
  • Integrate a GHG emissions lens into all government procurement processes.
  • Enact Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)-enabling legislation.
  • Work with industry partners to enhance the Clean BC Better Homes, Better Buildings program.
  • Increase short-term incentives for retrofits.
  • Fast-track the requirements of the building code and efficiency requirements of equipment to drive long-term action and strengthen the business case for retrofits.
  • Partner with colleges, technical institutes and private organizations to develop training programs so workers can enter the green retrofit industry.
  • Build capacity in communities so they can respond to extreme weather and recover quickly when the threat has passed.

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