BC Election 2017: Green Jobs/Just Transition

Watershed Sentinel Editorial Staff

BC Election 2017: Our comparison of the party platforms on green jobs and just transition

Liberal:

“The tech industry is home to highly sought after, green jobs – with earnings 75% higher than the provincial average. Whether you are a current student, recent high school graduate, or a parent thinking about your child’s future, more and more British Columbians are looking to the green jobs of the tech industry for a future career.”

  • Increase investment in the B.C. tech sector by up to $100 million by 2020.
  • Increase the number of tech companies with 10 or more employees by 20% by 2021.
  • Create an additional 1,000 new grads in tech supporting science, technology, engineering and math by 2022. Once those 1,000 additional graduates have completed their fourth year, expand by another 1,000.
  • Double the number of placements in the BC Tech co-op grants program to train post-secondary students by 2022.
  • Increase the number of placements in the MITACS internship program from 500 to 800 annually by 2020.
  • Invest an additional $10 million in life science research chairs and post-graduate fellows
  • Create new STEM schools to connect high schools with post-secondary programs that support tech-related industries.
  • Work with the federal government to increase the skilled tech talent immigrating to B.C.
  • Create a new Innovation Network to bridge all 25 public post-secondary institutions and industry
  • Work with the First Nations Technology Council on their program Bridging to Technology.
  • Provide an additional $87 million toward the BC Tech Strategy.
  • Work with industry to aggressively pursue $950 million in federal funding under the technology clusters initiative
  • Expand the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit to cover commercial applications for Augmented and Virtual Reality uses
  • Increase the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit from $35 million to $38.5 million.
  • Establish an Innovative Ideas Fund to encourage the purchase of new, innovative technology products
  • Create a Procurement Concierge Service to act as a “matchmaker” between government’s needs and tech innovators of all sizes.
  • Change procurement policy so that government becomes an early purchaser of B.C. technology innovative solutions.
  • Pilot a Startup in Residence Program where government and tech companies come together to tackle real world public sector challenges with innovative solutions
  • Expand B.C.’s Export Navigator pilot to help growing businesses become successful exporters
  • Expand U.S. Trade and Investment Offices in the Silicon Valley and establish a presence in Seattle.
  • Support Washington’s State Governor as he explores improved transportation links between the tech hubs of Seattle and Vancouver.
  • Encourage the federal government to support the proposed Vancouver harbour to Seattle harbour regular air service to help the movement of tech workers between the two cities.
  • Make government data accessible for the benefit of citizens by creating a Centre for Data-Driven Innovation in B.C. that will serve as a comprehensive, safe and trusted platform where government data  can be linked and analyzed to solve real-world problems.

NDP:

“Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have chosen to pit jobs against the environment. It shouldn’t be that way […] We will take action to create tens of thousands of new, sustainable, permanent jobs, while reducing BC’s climate change emissions and growing the low carbon economy.

“To get there […] We will invest in public transit, energy efficiency, clean technology, and major initiatives that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We will invest new carbon tax revenues in measures that help families and reduce carbon pollution.”

Energy:

  • Re-establish the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund cut by the BC Liberals to boost investments in new energy technologies, climate change solutions, and community-focused energy projects, especially           projects            that drive development in rural, northern and First Nations communities.
  • With PowerBC, we will look to renewable, modern energy sources for our future energy needs and bring investment in wind, solar and other clean energy projects back to BC, and ensure we are including         communities in the benefits of these projects.
  • Reduce our carbon footprint with energy efficiency retrofits to public buildings and residential homes, and create good jobs that last in every community.
  • Invest in traditional sectors of our economy and launch a major jobs initiative in clean energy and energy efficiency to reduce your heating bills.

Parks:

  • Restore funding for BC parks and hire additional park rangers and conservation officers.

Tech:

  • Invest $100 million to expand technology-related post-secondary programs and invest in talent in information and communications, digital media and entertainment, life sciences and health, clean-tech, IT                 and engineering and more.
  • Expand tech-sector co-op programs offered through BC’s colleges and universities.
  • Appoint a Chief Talent Officer who will bring focus to government’s efforts to train, repatriate and recruit the talent necessary for our tech sector to grow.
  • Ensure every child in BC is given the opportunity to learn to code, even if they don’t have a computer at
  • Work to close the digital divide, increasing the participation of women, First Nations and people from low- income families in the high technology workforce.
  • Streamline and simplify the many incentive programs and credits offered to the tech sector to better support smaller companies.
  • Offer networking grants to start-ups and early stage companies to allow startups to attend investor conferences and networking events, with the intent of bringing investment home to BC.
  • Create new innovation centres across the province, in partnership with universities and with all five components of our tech sector—clean tech, digital media, engineering, information and communications        technology, and life sciences.
  • Spark innovation and growth in BC’s tech sector right across the province, by improving investment tax credits, hiring local software developers, and re-establishing the Innovative Clean Energy program cut by        the BC Liberals.

Forestry/construction/wood

  • Maximize the use of innovative BC wood products in infrastructure projects, like schools, hospitals and rental housing construction and ask the federal government to do the same.
  • Offer incentives to BC builders that use engineered wood products and to BC companies starting innovative wood manufacturing operations.
  • Work with industry, local governments and First Nations to expand wood manufacturing capacity and create new jobs.
  • Partner with colleges and universities to train the designers, engineers and tradespeople needed to put these wood products to use.
  • Work with BC’s forest industry to find fair and lasting solutions that keep more logs in BC for processing.
  • Expand investments in reforestation across BC, creating year-round jobs and well paying summer jobs for BC students
  • Create 96,000 construction jobs by building schools, hospitals, roads and rapid transit over the next five
  • Build, directly and through partnerships, 114,000 rental, social and co‑op homes over 10 years using BC wood products as building materials.
  • Revitalize BC’s forest industry and make BC a world leader in engineered wood products.

Agriculture

  • Help hospitals and care facilities increase their use of BC grown and processed foods; work to expand the use of BC food products in all other government facilities.
  • Bring back an enhanced Buy BC marketing program to help local producers market their products in BC and for export.
  • Help young farmers access land, and work with primary producers on initiatives like ensuring bee populations stay healthy to pollinate crops, and supporting fruit and nut growers and processors.
  • Work with growers, processors, colleges and universities to develop a BC Food Innovation Centre that will link local food producers with new technology and expand their access to world markets.
  • Establish a BC beer, wine and spirits advisory panel to advise on how we can increase domestic sales of BC products and provide advice on how to strengthen and grow the industry.

Creative Economy:

  • Double the province’s investment in the BC Arts Council over four years.
  • Expand BC’s film labour tax credit to include BC writers.
  • Ensure BC film and TV makers get their fair share of federal investments from Telefilm and other federal government programs.
  • Invest in an arts infrastructure fund, mobilizing federal cultural infrastructure dollars that BC is currently missing out on.
  • Increase investments in Creative BC to support BC musicians, publishers, authors, artists, digital media, indigenous storytellers, and the film and TV industries.

Tourism

  • Include representatives of BC’s tourism sectors on all trade missions.
  • Ban the grizzly bear trophy hunt and help promote wildlife viewing tourism.
  • Increase the number of camping sites, and hire additional park rangers and conservation officers, improving the quality of tourists’ experience with BC parks.

 Green

 From “Strategy for a Green Economy”:

“A Green Economy promotes a triple bottom line: sustaining and advancing economic, environmental and social wellbeing.

“Our Green Economy Strategy […] supports health and wellbeing in multiple ways. It creates new, well-paying jobs, which will provide income security for British Columbians. It will lead to a cleaner, healthier environment. It will reduce waste and encourage more efficient use of resources. It will enhance industry productivity and promote exports. It will promote food security and support our greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.”

  • Allocate up to $10 million per year for in-service skills training for workers in small and medium-sized enterprises, and retraining for those displaced by automation or changing markets.
  • Promote investment in clean energy and transportation, and clean/green* initiatives that create jobs and economic activity without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Invest $120 million over four years in partnerships with industry, academic institutions and other levels of government to support research, development and commercialization of climate friendly technologies and implement innovative ways to achieve desired environmental outcomes.
  • Promote innovative collaborations with domestic and international partners; facilitate strategic business mentoring; and invest $35 million over four years in talent to help create, grow and attract companies.
  • Initiate the use of economic instruments to promote greening of the economy and protect key environmental values
  • Review the environmental legislative framework and its application, to ensure the regulatory environment promotes adoption of green technologies and practices.
  • Promote the use of clean technology to derive the maximum economic benefit from waste streams.
  • Use government procurement to encourage the greening of businesses, products and processes and allocate $20 million per year to support the adoption of green technology.

From “Strategy for Sustainable Enterprise”:

“Our objective is to support entrepreneurs, small, medium and large scale businesses, to create a steady supply of employment opportunities in enterprises that put BC on the leading edge of the green economy. We know about 50% of people are employed by small businesses, and the bulk of new jobs are created by small business. We are concerned about the viability of small businesses, given their sensitivity to relatively small cost changes.”

  • Establish an Emerging Economy Task Force to address the changing nature of business over the next 10 to 25 years.
  • Work with the federal government to streamline business and consumption taxes to avoid distorting effects on business investment decisions and to promote risk taking and innovation.
  • Review existing programs to ensure they are effectively supporting innovation, and new business models in the emerging economy.
  • Establish an Innovation Commission to support innovation and business development in the technology sector, and appoint an Innovation Commissioner with a mandate to be an advocate and ambassador on behalf of the BC technology sector in Ottawa and abroad.
  • Invest up to $20 million per year to support ideation, mentoring and networking at postsecondary institutions to promote entrepreneurship, leadership and business skills development.
  • Provide up to $70 million over four years for qualifying entrepreneurs to leverage seed or angel funding.
  • Invest up to $50 million in business incubators, accelerators and affordable space for small and medium- sized enterprises.
  • Modernize labour laws to recognize new and emerging types of work relationships in the emerging economy by introducing a fairer, more responsive and more inclusive code that contributes to increased competitiveness

    View and download the entire three-part document here:

    BC Election 2017 Platform Comparison – Environment

    BC Election 2017 Platform Comparison: Social Justice

    Green Jobs-Just Transition

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