Sonia Furstenau has made a green recovery from COVID-19 the second plank in her campaign for the leadership of the provincial party.
The Cowichan Valley MLA’s plan is a strategy for renewal that focuses on livable communities, a green industrial strategy, and infrastructure investments.
“We need to make smart investments that will make B.C. resilient in the long-term,” said Furstenau.
“This means addressing the unsustainable levels of inequality and environmental degradation of the past. In the past few weeks, we have seen a groundswell of support for addressing systemic racism. This means being willing to overhaul all of our systems. We need to reimagine what we want our communities to look like — in my mind, that means making them safer, healthier and more connected for everyone. That is why, in my previous platform, I also called for expanding services like child care, housing, education, and mental health. While these investments alone aren’t sufficient to address the reality of systemic racism and inequality, they are a vital component of building a more equitable society.
Furstenau’s plan includes the following policies:
• Consult with local governments and other stakeholders to explore how the province can support improved livability such as walkable neighbourhoods, complete communities, connected communities, and healthy community design.
• Develop a green industrial strategy that engages industry, labour, and other stakeholders to create plans to fairly and efficiently manage carbon budgets while maximising our green industrial potential.
• Engage with industry, labour and other stakeholders to develop green industries and direct provincial and leverage federal funding for a just, green economic renewal. Priority projects will include affordable rental and co-op housing, rapid transit projects, smaller scale distributed renewable energy projects, materials management facilities, and workforce and small business retraining, re-tooling and upskilling.
• Work with local and regional governments to establish an equitable, stable long-term funding model for transit.
“The abundance of good ideas being generated on how to reimagine how we do things is truly exciting. If we embrace the change people are calling for, we can make our communities and our economy stronger in the face of all the massive change happening throughout the world,” Furstenau said.