I Am Committed To Reclaiming British Columbia’s Role As a Climate Leader

We have a collective duty to respond to climate change and to do everything possible to leave our world a better place for future generations. That’s why I will ensure that British Columbia has clear and achievable goals for carbon reduction.

Protecting British Columbia’s natural environment and growing our strong economy go hand-in-hand. That’s why I am committing to a series of measures to protect the environment and reclaim BC’s place as a leader in the fight against climate change. Measures that will make our cities and regions more livable, create jobs, grow our economy, and ensure both a strong future and clean environment for generations to come.

As the next leader of the BC Liberal Party, and next Premier of British Columbia, I will…

Climate Leadership

I am committed to reclaim British Columbia’s role as a climate leader. We have a collective duty to respond to climate change and to do everything possible to leave our world a better place for future generations. That’s why I will ensure that British Columbia has clear and achievable goals for carbon reduction. I will bring together experts in climate action, business leaders, First Nations, and others to develop an effective and achievable made-in-BC plan for carbon reduction.

Modernizing BC’s Energy Policy

BC needs a new, modern energy policy. One that reflects our role as a leader in supplying low-carbon goods and services, including energy, to the world. As leader, I would work to retool our provincial energy strategy to reflect our unique opportunities to stimulate low-carbon economic growth, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and remain in the forefront of tackling climate change. This would create conditions to attract new investments in LNG, hydro and wind as well as digital technology, clean energy and manufacturing.

Carbon Tax Revenue Neutrality

The revenue neutral carbon tax pioneered by our party was an effective tool not only to reduce emissions, but to grow our economy. Unfortunately, the NDP have eliminated the requirement for revenue neutrality and turned the carbon tax into just another NDP tax grab.

Under my leadership, the carbon tax would be returned to being revenue neutral with transparent, public reporting of revenues and emissions reduction results. I would also restore the provision of protecting our energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries to ensure the ongoing competitiveness of BC companies.

I would also support our commitment within Pan Canadian Framework on Climate Leadership so that any future carbon tax increases are aligned with other provinces.

In addition, I would work with communities to study transferring revenue from future carbon tax increases towards regional, green transportation initiatives.

Reducing Transportation Emissions

Transportation accounts for almost 40% of BC’s total emissions, making it a key area where climate action will make a significant impact. That means supporting more public transportation options to get people out of their vehicles while at the same time better connecting communities and creating more livable cities.

Under my leadership, I would mandate BC Transit and TransLink transition from diesel-powered buses to vehicles that run on either electricity or compressed natural gas (CNG). I would support new rapid transit projects that will also make a significant difference in providing more environmentally sound commuter options, as well as working with BC Ferries to continue transitioning their fleet from diesel-powered vessels to other, lower emission sources of fuel such as LNG.

Clean Energy Vehicle Expansion

BC is already a leader when it comes to Clean Energy Vehicles (CEV) and charging stations, but we have an opportunity to expand this even further, especially outside of Metro Vancouver.

Under my leadership, I would extend the CEV rebate program and make it permanent to provide an incentive for British Columbians to purchase electric or other clean energy vehicles. We also need to enhance our provincial EV infrastructure and expand charging networks across the province, including a thorough review of regulatory barriers for the private sector.

British Columbians living in Kamloops or Fort St John should have the same EV options as those living in Vancouver or Victoria. That means supporting a significant provincial investment in charging infrastructure in communities across the province and on major highways linking those communities, and work towards having charging stations at every provincial rest stop.

I would also work with municipalities to develop regulations to allow local governments to require new buildings to install enhanced infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, encourage municipalities to offer free parking to CEVs, and develop policies to facilitate installing electric vehicle charging stations in existing strata buildings and developments.

Cleaner Waste Management

BC’s Landfill Gas Management Regulation has already made a significant difference in reducing methane emissions from landfills with the installation of new gas capture systems. I would build on the success of this program and work with local governments and our high-tech sector to even further reduce emissions from waste management.

Marine Habitat Conservation

So much of British Columbia’s coastal identity, not to mention our culture and economy is tied to the health of our iconic marine life. I would work with the federal government and Indigenous communities to take action to protect and restore our declining southern resident orca pod and wild Pacific salmon stocks. This includes a commitment to investing in innovative agri-food and fin-fish technologies, such as closed containment aquaculture, that protect our natural biodiversity, while promoting job creation and economic development in our rural and coastal communities.

Part of this work is supporting the federal government in ensuring that we have a world-leading marine spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean.

Wildlife Management

British Columbia boasts some of the most naturally diverse, healthy populations of wildlife anywhere in the world. We need to ensure we are managing those wildlife populations is a sustainable for today and for future generations.

My commitment to wildlife management is centred around three key areas. The need for balance, the need to be making decisions based on science, not ideology, and the importance of making wildlife management decisions locally and with the input of local indigenous communities.

Protected Areas

Just as with the Great Bear Rainforest and the Flat Head, we need to ensure other truly iconic and globally-significant biospheres in British Columbia are preserved for future generations. Under my leadership, we would have a consultation process with residents, industry, First Nations and other stakeholders to identify and preserve culturally and environmentally sensitive areas across our province.