New Dems unveil Green Fund to help rural BC

The New Democrats say they will, through a newly devised Green Fund, return millions of dollars to rural communities abandoned by the B.C. Liberal government.

“The biggest obstacle to green living for rural British Columbians is the lack of available options,” said New Democrat Forest Critic Norm Macdonald, the MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke. “Under the B.C. Liberals, public transit, particularly outside of large communities, has been inadequate, and northern residents have little choice but to use fossil fuels to heat their homes. The Green Fund would improve transit and invest in technologies.”

He said investment in rural B.C. is long overdue. The Green Fund offers hope to rural B.C., where the resource-based economies of entire communities have been devastated by the failed policies of the B.C. Liberals. The fund would invest $150 million per year in helping British Columbians live more sustainable lives, Macdonald said in a statement.

“The B.C. Liberals don’t have a shred of credibility when it comes to forestry or rural communities. People in small towns from Campbell River to Mackenzie are painfully aware that the Liberals have abandoned rural B.C. Yet the Campbell Liberals want to continue along the same failed track. B.C. has the second-worst economy in Canada under the B.C. Liberals, with the highest rate of job losses and the worst rate of child poverty.”

Macdonald said Carole James’ plan – outlined Friday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention – will provide significant benefits to rural communities and help with economic recovery in communities hard hit by the economic downturn. The Green Fund would invest an estimated $150 million per year in solutions for British Columbians, money that the B.C. Liberals plan to hand out in tax breaks to large corporations.

“Taxpayer dollars should be used to benefit all British Columbians, not just the large corporate donors of the B.C. Liberals,” he said.