Music in schools, subsidizing amateur sports and ensuring the Kermode bear becomes the symbol and mascot of the 2010 Winter Olympics. These are just some of the weighty proposals up for discussion at the provincial Liberal's annual general meeting in Whistler, according to a delegate package obtained by Public Eye.
Other resolutions call on government to increase municipal control over the agricultural land reserve, find regional solutions to homelessness, promote whole log exports, eliminate the property transfer tax in certain circumstances, cap the number of foreign post-secondary students and ban bulk water exports (a seemingly ever-present feature at most political conventions).
But some Liberals just want their party to put things back the way they were. For example, a resolution submitted by the Liberal's northern regional policy conference is asking the government to put the brakes on Northern Health Authority plans to cut the number of long-term care beds in Prince Rupert by one-third.
But Liberals won't just be debating fuddy-duddy policy wonk issues. The party will also be doing some deep-thinking on how to deal with vote-costing accusations the Campbell administration is nothing more than a uncaring old boys club.
The Liberal's West Vancouver-Capilano riding association, recognizing the current gender cap in politics, has introduced a resolution calling on the government to, "commit to measures to integrate women in elective and non-elective positions in all governmental and public administration positions." Unfortunately, the association seems to be keeping the identity of those measures a secret (perhaps to make sure the New Democrats don't steal their ideas).
Meanwhile, Richmond East Liberals have come up with a plan to soften up the Rockpile's hard-hearted residents. Their riding association is asking the government to encourage "empathy skills in youth learners." But, since most cabinet ministers are all grown up, Public Eye isn't sure whether that plan will work. The following is a copy of the delegate package.
2004 BIENNIAL CONVENTION
October 15, 2004
We are looking forward to seeing you in Whistler for the Biennial Convention. We have some exciting events planned, and it promises to be a great prelude to our election campaign. We are writing to you now to provide you with the Constitutional Resolutions and the Policy Proposals and to give you some further information about the Convention. First, if you have not already done so, please ensure you have somewhere to stay and that you have booked tickets for the Convention events.
Space is limited for all social events at the convention. Tickets for these events must be purchased in advance of the Convention because of our obligations with the hotel. The vents will be posted as SOLD OUT on the website when they become full. You can sign in as a delegate at secure.bcliberals.com.
IMPORTANT PLANNING INFORMATION
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is now SOLD OUT. If you are already registered there, the phone number for central reservations is 1-800-441-1414. You can visit their website at www.fairmont.com. The Four Seasons Resort Whistler DOES HAVE ROOMS available at the same negotiated rate of $114 per night subject to availability. Upgrades can also be negotiated at the same rate as the Fairmont rates.
The Four Seasons Whistler is located right next door to the Chateau Whistler where the Convention is taking place. It is literally a three minute walk next door! And it is a brand new hotel!
To reserve rooms please call the Four Seasons Whistler directly (not through their central reservations) at 1-888-935-2460 and refer to the BC Liberal Party Convention for the preferred rate. You can visit their website at www.fourseasons.com. Highway Closures
Due to construction on the Sea-to-Sky highway, there will be road closures in effect. Please check the highway information website at ww.seatoskyimprovements.ca or call toll-free at 1-877-4safe99 to ensure you travel at the right times to avoid long delays!!
Whistler Tourism Info
Click here for tourist information - there's LOTS to do and see at Whistler!! Visit the official Tourism Whistler website at www.tourismwhistler.com.
An agenda for the Convention is attached.
Onsite Name Tag Pickup
Security will be enforced during the convention - all delegates and guests attending events will be required to wear their nametags for access to the main sessions, policy breakouts and social events.
Please leave enough time to pick up your name tag well in advance of attending your first event, knowing that we anticipate 800+ registrants on site. The registration area will be open during the following times in order to try to reduce line ups:
Thursday, November 4th 1:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Frontenac Room
Friday, November 5th 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Frontenac Room
Saturday, November 6th 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Frontenac Foyer
All event tickets must be purchased in advance. Included in your registration fee are the Thursday evening Premier's Reception and the Saturday BC Young Liberals Reception.
NOTE: The Friday night dinner, the Saturday Caucus Breakfast and the Friday and Saturday box lunch options are all OPTIONAL and ADDITIONAL FEES. They must be purchased in advance with your registration.
Thursday Reception: "A Celebration of Service", a tribute to retiring MLAs and the BC Liberal Team
Time 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Place Macdonald Ballroom
Dress code Casual
Friday Night Dinner and Dancing with "The Time Benders"
6:30 p.m. No host reception
7:00 p.m. Doors open for seating - unassigned
7:30 p.m. Dinner begins
Dinner and dancing with the well-known show band "The Time Benders" - music from the 50s to the 80s!
Place Macdonald Ballroom
Dress code Casual
Saturday Caucus Breakfast
8:45 am Doors open
9:00 am to
Place Frontenac Room
Dress code Casual
Friday and Saturday box lunches: pick up in Macdonald Foyer
We look forward to seeing you there! It should be a great time.
The Convention Committee
BC LIBERAL 2004 BIENNIAL CONVENTION
FAIRMONT CHATEAU WHISTLER
NOVEMBER 4-6, 2004
Thursday, November 4, 2004
7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. * Premier's reception: "A Celebration of Service", a tribute to retiring MLAs and the BC Liberal Team
Friday, November 5, 2004
9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Convention opening and welcome
9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Policy
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Cabinet Minister session
1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Cabinet Minister session
1:40 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Discussion with Premier Gordon Campbell sponsored by the BC Liberal Women's Commission
2:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Cabinet Minister session
7:00 p.m. * Friday night casual dinner featuring "The Time Benders"
Saturday, November 6, 2004
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. * Caucus breakfast
10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Cabinet Minister session
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Keynote address from Premier Gordon Campbell
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Concert - "The Tiller's Folly"
1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. BC Liberal Party general meeting
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Cabinet Question and Answer session
3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. * BC Young Liberal reception
* Events designated with an asterisk are also open to non-delegates but tickets may be required
1. Resolved as a Special Resolution that the Constitution of the Party be amended by deleting subsection 16(4) in its entirety and substituting the following in its stead:
A notice referred to in subsection (3) must be in the form and by the method approved by the Party President or the President's designate.
2. Resolved as an Ordinary Resolution that Bylaw 2 subsection 6(3) be amended by deleting reference to "43 days" and substituting "41 days" in its stead.
3. Resolved as an Ordinary Resolution that the following (Bylaw 5 - Election of Regional Directors) is confirmed as a Bylaw of the Party:
BYLAW 5 - ELECTION OF REGIONAL DIRECTORS
1 Eligibility and nomination
(1) To be eligible for an election as a Regional Director at a biennial meeting to elect a Regional Director to represent a region, a person must:
(a) be a member of the Party in good standing;
(b) deliver to Party Headquarters, at least 14 days before the meeting to elect the Regional Director for the region, a written nomination (which may be one or more counterparts) signed by at least 5 members of the Party in good standing; and
(c) complete a candidate questionnaire in the form approved by the Party Executive and provide that questionnaire to the Party Headquarters at least 14 days before the meeting to elect a Regional Director for the region.
2. Places, times and manner of elections of Regional Directors
(1) The Party Executive, after consultation with the Presidents of Riding Associations in a Region, shall determine the dates, times and places of meetings to elect a Regional Director to represent such Region.
(2) The Party Executive shall appoint a Chief Electoral Officer who will be responsible to make all arrangements necessary for the conduct of the balloting for the elections of Regional Directors.
(3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall appoint election officials to administer the elections of Regional Directors. Constitutional Resolutions Page 3
(4) The Chief Electoral Officer may:
(a) establish more than one voting stations in a Region;
(b) determine the use of mobile polls; or
(c) may combine the elections of Regional Directors for two or more Regions.
(5) Party members' votes for elections of Regional Directors shall be assigned to the Riding Association representing the electoral district in which they reside ("Riding").
(6) For the purpose of apportioning ballot results among the candidates, each Riding shall be assigned 10 electoral votes.
(7) Upon the completion of a ballot, the votes cast in each Riding shall be counted. If 10 or fewer votes have been cast in a Riding, each candidate shall receive electoral votes equal to the number of votes cast in such Riding for the candidate. Otherwise, a candidate shall receive electoral votes equivalent to the 10 electoral votes assigned to the Riding multiplied by a fraction having as its numerator the votes cast for such candidate and a denominator of the total votes cast in the Riding for all candidates seeking election as Regional Director.
(8) The candidate receiving the greatest percentage of the electoral votes in a Region is elected as the Regional Director for such Region.
(9) In the event that candidates receive the same percentage of Electoral Votes in a Region, then the candidate who has received the most votes of the members in the Region shall be deemed to be elected as the Regional Director for such Region.
POLICY STEERING COMMITTEE
POLICY PROPOSALS FOR THE 2004 PROVINCIAL CONVENTION
The policy proposals have been grouped into three tracks designated A, B and C. Additionally, the proposals have been numbered to the greatest degree possible in the order in which they were received. For this reason the agenda order of the proposals is generally as follows:
1. Northern Regional Conference (NRC)
2. Vancouver Island Regional Conference (VIRC)
3. Lower Mainland Regional Conference (LMRC)
4. Riding Association proposals (RAPS)
5. Women's Commission proposals (WCPS)
Each proposal is identified by title, track assignment, origin code and the name of the source riding association or party commission (where provided). For example, the first proposal in this year's package is identified as follows:
Title: Northwest Trauma Centre
Track: A-1 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
In the sample header above the following information is provided: The proposal is titled "Northwest Trauma Centre". It is the first proposal on the agenda in "Track A" (A-1). It was approved at the Northern Regional Conference in Prince Rupert (NRC) and name of the riding association which originally introduced the proposal has not been provided to the Provincial Policy Steering Committee.
For the sake of coherence, the three tracks have, to the greatest possible degree, used the policy areas assigned to Government Caucus Committees as a guideline in order that similar proposal can be grouped together as follows:
Track A: "Health" and "Communities and Safety" (19 proposals)
Track B: "Education" and "Economy and Government Operations" (18 proposals)
Track C: "Cross Government Operations" (18 proposals)
Title: Northwest Trauma Centre
Track: A-1 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
Northwestern B.C. is one of the only areas without trauma services. BC Liberals believe in access to a fundamental level health care across the province. Therefore we support the development of enhanced trauma services throughout the region of the Northwest.
Title: Senior Independent Living
Track: A-2 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
Services to allow seniors to live independently are not adequate or readily available in rural and remote areas. At the same time the Northern Health Authority plans to cut our long term care beds, in Terrace by one third.
BC Liberals value the utilization of social services and support based on individual needs and requirements that are accountable and can effectively demonstrate performance based outcomes.
Therefore we recommend that there be no cuts to the existing number of beds until full services are available for home care or their appropriate means to allow independent living.
Title: Northern Community Training
Track: A-3 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
Natural Resource Dependent Communities (NRDC) within the province of British Columbia are facing unprecedented change brought on by events outside of the control of these communities;
1 Technology: Reduces the number of jobs, particularly within the traditional, patriarchal extractive industries (Forest Products, Mining, and Fishing) and makes citizens change adverse and resentful at a timce when competitiveness and productivity defines success in the Market Place.
2 Globalization: Commodity products are sold on the world markets. Only the least cost providers survive in this business climate. Operations have and will close if they cannot adapt to change and are not competitive.
3 Demographics An aging workforce as well as an increasing population and aspiration level of First Nations Peoples in NRDCs means both future skill shortages and the frustration of unrealized opportunity.
The ability of the communities and their citizens to cope with present and future changes is presently reactive, e.g. Sections 53 and 54 (Joint Consultation and Adjustment Plans) of the Labour Relations Code, and Section 64 (Group Terminations) of the Employment Standards Act.
It is desirable to provide a proactive approach within the NRDCs to cope with change. The BC Liberal Party recognizes that a well-trained work force is an extremely important component of healthy and vibrant economic environment.
We propose that the BC Liberal Party establishes, through appropriate areas, a series of initiatives that provide additional capacity for proactive, change adept, Natural Resource Dependent Communities through enhanced skills and leadership development.
Title: Agricultural Land Reserve
Track: A-4 Origin: VIRC Source: Nanaimo-Parksville
Within many small municipalities and regions Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land sites are unused and unusable and are landlocked by single family and multi family residential developments.
Lands which could be used for new homes and businesses are trapped by legislation which based on smart protection of agricultural land fails to discriminate between viable and practical applications in protecting farm or agricultural land.
With the increasing pressure on Provincial resources to provide and steer land and land use issues, common sense value the encouragement and practical management of land within municipalities and should be decided by residents and their representatives in local government.
Therefore we propose that the Provincial Government change and modernize the mandate of the Agricultural Land Commission regarding the disposition of ALR lands within municipal boundaries.
Title: Property Transfer Tax
Track: A-5 Origin: VIRC Source: Victoria-Beacon Hill
Property Transfer Tax (PTT) discriminates against people that have to move to different regions or towns frequently as part of their employment requirement. It restricts mobility and it strips people of their home equity. It also encourages people to avoid taxes through trust arrangement that are other wise not useful.
The BC Liberal Party is committed to eliminating inequitable taxes, which impair British Columbian's ability to seek employment opportunities around the province.
We support eliminating PTT on residential transactions where the purchaser intends to use the property as a principal residence for two years from the sate of purchase.
Title: Street Racing and Other Related Issues to Dangerous Driving
Track: A-6 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond Centre
The ongoing carnage of street racing, excessive speeding, and impaired driving especially by young and inexperienced drivers between the ages of 18 to 24. More effective ways must be found to protect the public at large and other law-abiding drivers.
Further, Judges in B.C. are now handing down sentences that are so lenient as to serve as neither adequate punishment, a deterrent to others, nor justice for the injured or to the surviving family members.
From community policing, to the administration of justice, to our corrections system, the public demands stronger, more determined leadership, with one law for all British Columbians. We all share the same goal: safe streets and safe schools. Together, we can achieve that in every community.
That the BC Liberal Party asks the provincial government to endorse a firm way to deal with these individuals causing unnecessary loss of life and hard ship to others by:
1. Continuing to lobby the appropriate levels of government to ensure that adequate minimum sentences are enacted.
2. Revoking a driver's license according to the severity of the offence, including permanent loss of a license for repeat offenders and those causing death.
3. Disallowing licenses to those with outstanding motor vehicle based criminal records for all those applying for a B.C. driver's license.
4. Increased punishment for those driving while under suspension and/or in a stolen vehicle.
Title: Marijuana Grow Operations - Control and Penalties
Track: A-7 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond Centre
Marijuana grow operations in rented or owned residences are increasing in alarming numbers throughout British Columbia. These operations provide lucrative incomes to organized crime, and minimal sentencing provisions does not appear to deter this criminal activity.
From community policing, to the administration of justice, to our corrections system, the public demands stronger, more determined leadership, with one law for all British Columbians. We all share the same goal: safe streets and safe schools.
1. A specific policing strategy undertaken to actively reduce or eliminate the establishment of marijuana grow operations,
2. Regulations to control the sale of the kind of hydroponics equipment used in grow operations, and
3. The BC Liberal government urging the federal government to increase the minimum sentencing for grow operations to two (2) years plus a day and even longer penalties where innocent people are endangered in a grow operation or grow operation rip-off.
4. Increased penalties for repeat offenders.
Title: Nutrition and Public Health
Track: A-8 Origin: LMRC Source: Port Moody - Westwood
There is widespread concern today about obesity and related health problems among young people across Canada, and public debate is rising over schools that sell and encourage consumption of food products believed to add to this problem.
There also is concern that, over the long term, these outcomes add unnecessarily to the burden on the province's health care services and reduce economic growth potential.
The BC Liberal Party believes that well educated children are the best long-term economic development opportunity for the Province of B.C. The Party further recognizes that an effective and sustainable health care system begins with a health conscious citizenry, and that children learn by example.
That the BC Liberal Party supports a policy that fosters understanding of nutrition and the delivery of healthful foods in the school system rather than the current promotion of unhealthy food for short-term commercial gain.
In addition, the BC Liberal Party supports a large-scale public education campaign, beginning with the public education system, to promote healthy, nutritional choices and encourage healthy lifestyle.
Title: Elder Abuse
Track: A-9 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond Centre
Elder abuse occurs in our society where vulnerable or infirm seniors may be mistreated by family members, and care workers. While there are legal requirements for the reporting of abuse or suspected abuse of children, there are no such requirements for seniors. BC Liberals value safety and security for all citizens.
Therefore, we support the enactment of legislation, similar to the child abuse programs, for the protection of vulnerable seniors.
Title: End of Life Care
Track: A-10 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond Centre
BC citizens should be entitled to die with dignity, and in care if needed, in relative comfort, as free from pain and other distresses as possible, and in surroundings that are appropriate to the individual's situation. BC Liberals put people's needs at the centre of health care.
Therefore we support developing a strategy and standards for end-of-life care, taking into account the above points, and that a percentage of health care funding be designated for end-of life/palliative care.
We will address the needs of our aging population. We will also provide expanded home care and palliative care services to assist chronically and terminally ill patients with supportive home environments, as an option to institutional care.
Title: Healthy and Secure Attachments
Track: A-11 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond East
Research has shown that infants who are exposed to poor parental communication, stress/intrusion/violence, and/or parental withdrawal are more likely to suffer behavioral problems such as attachment issues and those are a risk factor for childhood mental health difficulties.
We believe in an increased emphasis on early childhood development. The BC Liberal Party supports the provision of resources and support to encourage appropriate parenting skills and to support the development of healthy and secure attachments in all infants.
Title: Affordable Housing
Track: A-12 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond Centre
Many British Columbians, such as seniors, mentally challenged, single parent families and the working poor, are finding it increasingly difficult to remain in affordable and suitable accommodations. Suitable for-profit housing for rent or purchase is no longer affordable for many.
There is a need for increased funding at all levels of government for both affordable and supportive social housing. We value flexible, innovative affordable housing for disadvantaged people.
Therefore we support an increase in both affordable and supportive housing as budget constraints allow. We encourage the provincial government in seeking increased participation from all levels of government in the provision of social housing.
Title: Tax Credit for Organized Athletic Activities
Track: A-13 Origin: RAPS Source: Port Moody-Westwood
Health costs are rising. Obesity is becoming more common with Canada's youth. Physical Fitness has been proven to reduce illness and other health problems. In a modern society physical activity is not part of most occupations.
BC Liberals wish to encourage a more fit and healthy population, especially our children. We encourage the BC Government to provide a tax credit to British Columbia parents who have children in any registered organized athletic activity.
Title: Regional Homelessness
Track: A-14 Origin: RAPS Source: Burnaby-Willingdon
While the homeless may share the need for housing, they are not a homogeneous group. There is a widening diversity among B.C.'s homeless, including an increase in the number of women, youth, seniors, families with children, immigrants and refugees. There are many factors contributing to homelessness, however, poverty and lack of access to affordable housing are major contributing factors.
There is an urgent need to address this problem more expeditiously, and tailor the solutions to meet the needs of the homeless in any given community/region. BC Liberals believe in finding solutions to ending the plight of the homeless. To have flexible solutions that address homelessness in a timely manner.
This can be accomplished, in part, by acknowledging that Homelessness is a "regional problem" that requires "regional solutions" based on community involvement.
We encourage the provincial government to actively seek partnerships across a variety of sectors (for example, federal government, municipal governments, community organizations, service agencies, and local businesses). These partnerships are essential to the success of solving Regional Homelessness.
Currently, for example, there's a pilot project in the planning stage in the Greater Vancouver Region - a potential partnership between the Family Services of Greater Vancouver and the Vancouver City Police, where Family Services will provide a Social Worker who has the expertise to deal with social issues regarding homeless people, and the Vancouver City Police will provide a Police Officer to work with this Social Worker.
The Social Worker and the Police Officer will work collaboratively as a team, with their time and purpose solely dedicated to the homeless people file.
The provincial government of British Columbia is encouraged to endorse this pilot project in funding the two positions of the police officer and social worker in the Greater Vancouver Region.
Title: Governance Models for Non-Profit Societies
Track: A-15 Origin: WCPS Source: Women's Commission
Currently some non-profit societies that receive government funding to delivery services in the community have the option to operate using a collective governance model.
Decision-making, a modified form of consensus, limits the capabilities of a board and slows down the progression of a society. Improper administration and management practices, lack of accountability and ineffective personnel procedures plague societies of this nature.
Additionally because of this inefficiency, public program and service delivery is administered at a higher tax burden with decreased value to customers and clients.
B.C. Liberals have stated emphatically the importance of procedures to insure accountability at all levels of government and government funded non-profit organizations.
We support organizational criteria that government funded non-profit organizations are under regulation to have an effective and efficient hierarchical governance model in place which promotes which promotes the eight BC Reporting Principles.
Title: Shortage of Medical Professionals
Track: A-16 Origin: RAPS Source: Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain
The current shortage of medical professionals in BC puts patient health care at risk. The BC Liberals value quality health care for all British Columbians and reduced waiting lists. We support that the BC health care system be immediately opened up for foreign trained medical professionals by creating more residency positions and the standardization of credentials.
Title: Health & Environment
Track: A-17 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
A primary source of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and particulates in the lower mainland air shed is from freighters burning bunker fuel, and Vancouver and Fraser port trade is expected to increase.
BC Liberals seek to promote health and well-being and protect the vulnerable - especially children and seniors - and to leave the environment in better shape for the next generation.
Therefore we propose that the Provincial Government work with the federal government to require the port authorities to reduce freighter emissions.
Note: Some ports have put electrical outlets at the buoys for ship operations (refrigeration) and restrict engine use.
Title: Health & Pensions
Track: A-18 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
The burden on the work force and the economy of health care and pensions is growing faster than the economy. In 1972 there were eight people working for every person retired, today there are three, and in twenty years there will be two (as in Europe today). BC Liberals seek to create a business friendly environment in order to support the social and health needs so BC is the best place in the world to live. We propose to eliminate mandatory retirement.
Title: Affordable Housing
Track: A-19 Origin: RAPS Source: West Vancouver-Capilano
Due to escalating land and building costs, assessed values, taxes, the changing definition of family and an increasing proportion of our population being over the age of 65, the availability of affordable housing, particularly for women and seniors, is a matter of increasing concern.
BC Liberals are concerned about the specific needs of women and seniors and see the availability of affordable housing as vitally important. We propose that the Minister of Finance on behalf of the Provincial Government adopt measures to address the housing needs of women and seniors.
Title: Log Export Program
Track: B-1 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
It is imperative that the Province of British Columbia maximize the value of its forest resources. In the Northwest (specifically the North Coast, Kalum and Kispiox Forest Districts) where there is a high percentage of low value, over mature timber, the opportunity needs to exist for small and large operators, First Nations, and Communities to have access not only to the timber but also to all timber markets.
The Order in Council to temporarily permit log exports has been successful, proving to enhance logging, booming, hauling, ship tending and barging jobs. It has allowed the harvest of marginal timber stands and developed a higher future value of timber through replanting and stand management.
The opportunity to market whole logs has opened up unique markets, mainly in B. C., for the entrepreneur - only a small percentage of logs being exported off shore. BC Liberals are committed to revitalizing the BC Forest Industry.
We recommend that this revitalization include, as a 5-year marketing trial, the opportunity for whole log marketing to local and global markets, particularly in areas such as the three Northwest Forest Districts (excluding the Queen Charlotte Islands) where existing timber profiles are traditionally uneconomic to harvest.
Title: Forestry Offices
Track: B-2 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
It is understood the Forestry office that will be servicing the North Coast forest region will be relocated to Port McNeil and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and the Forestry office servicing the Queen Charlotte Islands will be located to Chilliwack. These locations are not readily accessible from northern communities.
The economy of the North Coast of British Columbia relies to a large extent on the forest industry made up of both large and small independent logging companies. For efficiency and effectiveness reasons for large and particularly small companies reasonable access to Ministry offices is important.
The BC Liberal Party supports effective and efficient delivery of Government services by a business friendly civil service. The BC Liberal Party supports the location of forestry and other ministry offices into northern locations.
Title: BC Fishing Products
Track: B-3 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The wild fish industry in British Columbia has and continues to experience hard times. The industry in some cases is the only economic base of some coastal communities, affecting the entire economic fabric of that community.
The commercial fishing industry will continue to face declines in the industry unless a joint process is put forward with Industry and Government to create a comprehensive marketing plan for all products.
The BC Liberal Party supports economic development and prosperity in all areas of British Columbia.
The BC Liberal Party supports an increased and improved joint industry / government initiative to create a branding and marketing program for all commercial BC fishing products for the world, B.C., and Canadian markets.
Title: Fin Fish Aquaculture
Track: B-4 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The process for the licensing of fin fish aquaculture sites with the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans can at times take years, severely impacting the economic viability of the company and the isolated communities involved.
The licensing of fin fish Aquaculture sites comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in conjunction with the Province of British Columbia.
BC Liberals believe unnecessary regulation should be eliminated. We propose that the Government of British Columbia work with the Government of Canada to establish an approval process with a maximum turnaround time of six months for the licensing of Aquaculture sites for fin fish and shell fish on the Coast of British Columbia and all critical issues are dealt with in that time frame.
Title: Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Training
Track: B-5 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
Offshore oil and gas exploration and potentially production is coming to the North Coast of British Columbia. The offshore oil and gas industry in British Columbia will provide employment opportunities for individuals with unique skills and education.
At present there is an inadequate number of qualified British Columbians to meet the potential needs of this industry. Training programs to teach these skills and trades are available from other parts of the world. Local community colleges and UNBC are well suited and able to provide such training and education.
The BC Liberal Party recognizes that a well-trained work force is an extremely important component of healthy and vibrant economic environment. Furthermore, the BC Liberal Party encourages economic development throughout the province, particularly those located in the 'heartlands' of the province.
The BC Liberal Party supports the teaching of programs in the northern region of the province that will suit the needs of the offshore oil and gas industry thereby creating employment opportunities for people of rural British Columbia.
Track: B-6 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The viability of a containerization project on the north coast of British Columbia is dependant upon the outflow of containers. Hence it is important that markets utilizing the outflow of containers are developed.
The Port of Prince Rupert on the North Coast is moving ahead with containerization. This initiative will be an economic driver for the northern region and the province as a whole and will ensure that BC maintains its markets share of the containers shipped to and from the West Coast.
The BC Liberal Party encourages economic development throughout the province, particularly those located in the 'heartlands' of the province.
The BC Liberal Party promotes an initiative to inform and promote industries, organizations, economic development boards, and the like in the north-western and northern transport corridors of British Columbia of the advantages of shipping via containers to customers through the northern coastal containerization facility.
Title: Economic Development Ministry
Track: B-7 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The challenge facing British Columbia today is to create revenue sufficient to provide the services and support systems needed to enhance the lives of all British Columbians.
There is no clearly defined entity to provide a vision or plan for the economic growth in British Columbia, to promote British Columbia to the world as a place to do business, to liaise with business to secure a stable an attractive investment climate, to ensure that existing businesses and industry are retained in the Province, to aggressively expand our markets beyond the United States, especially into Asia, and to ensure that worthy projects receive the help and support of government for their timely development.
These initiatives need focused attention. BC Liberals believe that the rebuilding of the economy of BC is a key priority pf the government.
We propose that the Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise be more focused on the economic development of the province. This Ministry must ensure that British Columbia competes globally to attract, secure and maintain a strong, vibrant, competitive business community.
Title: Regulating and Administration for the Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
Track: B-8 Origin: VIRC Source: Victoria-Beacon Hill
The current regulating and administrating system for PST is a serious burden for small business. It takes too much time to track and record everything and takes up time that could be spent making a living for people in small business.
The BC Liberal Party is committed to simplifying the rule and reducing red tape in BC. That a BC Business community be formally engaged in a process to re-design PST collecting in a revenue-neutral fashion that is simpler to operate.
Title: Music in BC Schools
Track: B-9 Origin: VIRC Source: Victoria-Beacon Hill
There is a need in BC Schools for music to play a greater role in the early years of students. It has been established that music has a proven educational benefit and music appreciation is one of the accepted hallmarks of mature society.
The BC Liberal Party believes in providing guarantees to all students of the right of access to a full education.
We propose that the BC school curriculum should be changed to require the inclusions of music education up to grade nine.
Title: Apprenticeship and Skills Training
Track: B-10 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond Centre
The shortage of skilled trades persons in British Columbia is recognized by the provincial government. Only 20% of high school graduates go on to university and most of the remaining 80% did not have the opportunity to participate in apprenticeship and skills training in their high school years.
BC Liberals believe in building our economy with an adequate supply of skilled and educated workers.
We propose that skills training and apprenticeship programs should be available in the public education system beginning in Grade 8. These programs should qualify graduates to national standards levels for Journeyman and Master's Certificates.
Title: Empathy Skills for Young Learners
Track: B-11 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond East
Research has shown that infant exposure to coercive or aggressive behavior can lead to physical aggression in the early years, and socially disruptive behaviors, violent criminal behavior and psychiatric disorders in later life. Too many children in B.C. do not learn appropriate or necessary skills to deal with aggression.
BC Liberals believe in equipping children with life skills to deal with life's challenges. The BC Liberal Party supports the continued provision of initiatives aimed at teaching empathy to young learners.
Title: Phase-out and Elimination of the Property Transfer Tax
Track: B-12 Origin: LMRC Source: Vancouver-Fairview
Given the significant increase in real estate prices in recent years, the Property Transfer Tax is a substantial impediment for people buying a home, particularly first time homebuyers.
BC Liberals support home ownership and a fair distribution of the tax burden. While recognizing the need to generate the necessary revenues to balance the budget, we support the phase-out and eventual elimination of the Property Transfer Tax on a homeowner's principal residence.
Title: Student Fee Option-Out Clause
Track: B-13 Origin: LMRC Source: Surrey-Green Timbers
Post-secondary students are currently overburdened by student fees, which do not reflect their individual needs or affiliations. BC Liberals believe in the right of citizens, by way of freedom of association, to not subsidize causes from which they neither benefit nor support.
The BC Liberal Party supports the creation of option out check off lists to determine which, if any, political non-essential activities individual student fees will contribute to.
Title: Accountability of Non-ministerial Service Delivery Agencies
Track: B-14 Origin: WCPS Source: Women's Commission
There is no mechanism in place for the accountability of government funding of non-ministerial service delivery agencies that are non-profit organizations. BC Liberals believe in openness with and accountability for the use of tax dollars collected from the people of BC.
That the ministries and crown agencies incorporate in their contracts with non-ministerial service delivery agencies that are non-profit organizations the eight BC Reporting Principles: explain the public purpose served; link goals and results; focus on the few critical aspects of performance; relate results to risk and capacity; link resources, strategies and results; provide comparative information; present credible information, fairly interpreted; and disclose the basis for key reporting judgment.
Title: Teacher Performance Evaluation
Track: B-15 Origin: RAPS Source: Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain
The lack of a process of regular teacher performance evaluation in BC's public education system puts the quality and uniformity of education delivery at risk. BC Liberals value an excellent, equal and uniform education for all students.
We support annual performance evaluation of all teachers by the school principals and annual performance evaluations of all principals and vice principals by a school district official.
Title: Public Disclosure of Government Employee Collective Agreements
Track: B-16 Origin: RAPS Source: Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain
The public does not have the ability to make informed decisions about collective agreements of government employees. The BC Liberals value open and transparent government. We support that the complete collective agreements of any organization that has government employees be published to the public.
Title: Youth & Advanced Education
Track: B-17 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
It is perceived that BC resident students with good academic track records do not have adequate access to post secondary education because of the number of foreign students. BC Liberals believe in access for everyone to post secondary education to ensure they can acquire the skills and knowledge to compete with the world's best and win.
We propose that the Provincial Government develop caps on the percentages of foreign students enrolled that are appropriate for each institution (and perhaps every program) to ensure that there is adequate space for BC residents.
Title: Inter-provincial Free Movement of Goods and Services
Track: B-18 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
There are still barriers to the free movement of goods and services between provinces.
BC Liberals believe in creating incentives for trade. We propose that the provincial government commit to continue eliminating trade barriers that inhibit free trade between British Columbia and other provinces.
Title: Guide Outfitters
Track: C-1 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The Guide Outfitter industry of British Columbia is being threatened by the ever increasing establishment of natural reserves. The Guide Outfitting industry annually generates an estimated $50 million of economic activity and provides $2 to $3 million to government revenue through hunting license and tag fees, surcharges and royalties.
The vast majority of the Guide Outfitters in British Columbia are members of a professional organization that has a long history of participating with government ministries such a Water, Land and Air Protection and Sustainable Resource Management in the management and conservation of fish and wildlife across British Columbia.
The BC Liberal Party supports economic development and supports the individuals and organizations that practice principled approach to fish and wildlife conservation. The BC Liberal Party supports the Guide Outfitters industry of British Columbia and recognizes the benefits this industry brings to many northern communities.
Title: 2010 Games-Northern Communities
Track: C-2 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The selection of Vancouver / Whistler as the hosts of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games was a major accomplishment and represents a great opportunity to showcase all regions of our province. While all British Columbians will share in the cost of preparing for these events many northern residents do not believe that their communities will receive any direct benefit from hosting these Games.
The BC Liberal Party recognizes the economic problems in rural B.C. and supports economic development and prosperity everywhere in British Columbia.
The BC Liberal Party supports a program that encourages social and economic spin off for all communities in the province as a result of the 2010 Games.
Title: 2010 Olympics - Kermode Bear
Track: C-3 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
The 2010 Olympics provides British Columbia with an opportunity to showcase the province to the world. It is important that the diversity and beauty of the whole province be recognized and projected not just the Vancouver/Whistler region. We need to create a symbol for the Olympics that instantly identifies to the world the uniqueness of this beautiful province.
BC Liberals believe that the 2010 Olympics are an unparalleled opportunity for all regions of the Province. The unique Kermode (Spirit) Bear represents the diversity of our culture, the beauty of our wilderness, the presence and contribution of the North and rural areas to British Columbia and we propose that the Kermode Bear become the symbol and mascot of the 2010 Olympics.
Title: Auto Glass Deductible
Track: C-4 Origin: NRC Source: Not provided
ICBC has changed the auto glass deductible for some drivers, which has seen glass deductibles rise from the present $200 or $300 to $500 or $1,000 for windshields. With the extremely high price of vehicle insurance, we expect the BC Liberals to favour separating windshield replacement from our comprehensive insurance and have it stand alone as an option. BC Liberals recognize regional differences.
We propose that The Provincial Government instruct ICBC to recreate auto glass insurance as a separate optional coverage taking into consideration regional differences. Let the consumer decide to purchase or decline auto glass insurance.
Title: Protection of BC History and Archaeological Artefacts
Track: C-5 Origin: VIRC Source: Saanich North and the Islands
There is no compensation for the private landowners whose land may be encumbered under the Heritage Conservation Act, which governs the preservation of publicly desired history and artifacts of historical significance.
The Heritage legislation, regulations, and policies can erode the rights of landowners creating uncertainty of land ownership, which discourages economic development. The use of limiting encumbrances (which is a form of expropriation) without compensation diminishes or even destroys the value of the private property of landowners in British Columbia.
Many landowners are destroying artifacts of historical significance "quietly" to circumvent horrendous archaeological costs that the heritage Conservation Act may impose on them.
The BC Liberal's value the right of every person to own and enjoy property, which means that private property must be protected by law and may not be taken or encumbered without just cause and without full and fair compensation.
The BC Liberal Party values the over-all economic opportunities and growth that proper protection of land ownership will bring all British Columbians. The BC Liberal Party values our First Nation's cultural heritage and legacy.
The BC Liberal Party urges the Government of BC to examine all heritage legislation, to ensure it will create land use certainty and economic growth without financially penalizing archaeological sensitive property of private landowners in BC. Because the heritage conservation legislation, demands protection of publicly desired history and artifacts of historical significance; the only equitable solution is for the BC government to:
* Pay all archaeological costs of achieving desired protection of artifacts
* Register archaeological site on property titles to ensure protection of sites through a fair and open process compensate private property owners for loss of land value.
Title: Fish Farms
Track: C-6 Origin: VIRC Source: Nanaimo-Parksville
Currently fish farms located at inlets and tributaries to salmon bearing rivers expose juvenile and migrating salmon to excessive quantities of sea lice. BC Liberals believe that farmed salmon and the wild stock of salmon are an integral part of both the island economy and island identity and lifestyle.
We propose that the site location of commercial fish farms reflect the protection of juvenile and migrating salmon. Also, that wild stock be protected particularly when those wild stocks migrate through areas used for fish farming. This is especially essential for large wild salmon runs, which may not be mature enough to handle lice infestation.
Title: BC Film Industry
Track: C-7 Origin: VIRC Source: Victoria-Beacon Hill
The Film Industry has the potential to further develop on Vancouver Island and throughout British Columbia and the Liberal Government has proven that it can be helped by the current 6% tax credit. BC Liberals value increasing industry throughout the Province. BC Liberals encourage the Government to explore further tax related opportunities to promote the BC Film Industry.
Title: Early Childhood Development
Track: C-8 Origin: LMRC Source: Richmond East
Early emotional regulation, set in the brain, is the link to emotional control later in life, and research has shown that children who do not develop the ability to regulate behavior during the early years may display inconsistent coping strategies later in life.
Some kids in our society do not have proper care and nutrition; and some parents do not have the knowledge and resources to provide this. BC Liberals believe in safe and healthy environments for children to grow in.
The BC Liberal Party supports continued enhancement of Early Childhood Development supports and resources for parents so that each baby in British Columbia receives the best possible start.
Title: Worker's Compensation Board
Track: C-9 Origin: LMRC Source: Burnaby-Edmonds
At the present time, individuals injured in the workplace are receiving inadequate or delayed treatment for their condition. This situation is causing undue strain on the injured person, immediate dependents, co-workers and employers. Recovery is further delayed by additional physical and mental conditions unrelated to the original injury.
BC Liberals believe in able-bodied people returning to the workforce and becoming contributors to society. The BC Liberal Party supports an assessment of WCB claimant conditions by trained individuals in the medical profession in a timely manner.
Title: Encouraging Private Investment in Public Renewable Resources
Track: C-10 Origin: LMRC Source: New Westminster
The forestry Annual Allowable Cut has declined over the past fifteen years from 90 million cubic meters to 60 million meters and will continue to decline without strategic intensive silviculture investment.
BC Liberals believe in an increase in the allowable cut over time through scientific forest management, proper planning, and incentives to promote enhanced silviculture.
The BC Liberal Party supports encouraging investment in enhanced silviculture to increase the AAC by undertaking to fairly compensate a private forest tenure holder when that private tenure holder has improved the value of that resource through investments such as enhanced silviculture, and these improved values are "taken" by the crown through re-distribution of tenure.
Title: Triple Cost Accounting
Track: C-11 Origin: RAPS Source: Vancouver-Point Grey
The natural environment is the basic capital infrastructure and support for all we do. The short term and long term impacts to its resources should be considered in all projects. In assessing projects, economic, environmental and social costs and benefits should be considered.
The BC Liberals value our natural environment and recognize it as a major asset to our social and economic well-being. The BC Liberal Party supports the establishment of five regional forums to discuss triple cost accounting and its impact on economic, social and environmental assessments of major government initiatives across the province.
Title: South Fraser Perimeter Road
Track: C-12 Origin: RAPS Source: Delta North
The proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road would be a commercial corridor from Highway#1 near 200th Street in Langley, along the Fraser River under the Port Mann and Patullo Bridges, to the Alex Fraser Bridge, then across Delta to connect with Highway 99 Delta Port and the ferries.
This project has been under study for more than 14 years. Current estimates put the number of truck movements in the immediate area of the Surrey Fraser Docks at 3400 per day and growing steadily. The portion of the South Fraser Perimeter Road from the Port Mann Bridge to the Alex Fraser Bridge has a known routing and has a portion already in place. BC Liberals believe that improved transportation is a very high priority.
We propose that the Provincial Government commence construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road without further delay and in the process, give priority to the section of the road from the Surrey Fraser Docks to the Alex Fraser Bridge.
Title: Reduced Taxes for Seniors
Track: C-13 Origin: WCPS Source: Women's Commission
A 65 year old retired individual with an income made up of maximum CPP and OAS receives approximately $15,370 per year, and pays approximately $612 in Federal Income Tax and $202 in Provincial Income Tax. This causes hardship for those on fixed incomes. BC Liberals value the quality of life for all citizens, especially seniors on fixed incomes.
We propose that the non-refundable BC tax credits should be adjusted so that seniors with taxable incomes under $15,000 per year do not pay any Provincial Income Tax.
Title: Natural Resources - Bulk Fresh Water
Track: C-14 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
There is a growing demand for British Columbia bulk fresh water, which is under provincial jurisdiction. BC Liberals seek to preserve and protect the natural environment in British Columbia.
We propose that the provincial government should not enter into any agreement or treaty, which would allow bulk water exports.
Title: Senate Seats
Track: C-15 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
There are gross inequalities of representation in the number of Senate seats allowed to British Columbia. (Note: Atlantic 30, Quebec 24, Ont. 24, Western Provinces 24. BC should be a region and have 24 added seats. Each BC seat represents 547,000 citizens compared to 94,000 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 32,000 for Prince Edward Island.)
BC Liberals are committed to work towards improving democracy. That British Columbia seeks to obtain a fairer representation as a region in the Senate. (Note: Provinces can propose constitutional amendments.)
Title: Regional Transportation Planning
Track: C-16 Origin: RAPS Source: New Westminster
The Fraser Valley is increasing in population dramatically with subsequent transportation problems. BC Liberals support a regional transit plan.
We propose that the Provincial Government support a Sky-Train or light rapid transit link between the Fraser Valley and the line in Surrey.
Title: Women in Leadership
Track: C-17 Origin: RAPS Source: West Vancouver-Capilano
The relative lack of gender balance in politics, as well as other areas of leadership in British Columbia is an issue of concern for effective representation. BC Liberals believe in fairness and equity.
We propose that the Government commit to measures to integrate women in elective and nonelective positions in all governmental and public administration positions.
Title: Strengthening Our Social Support Network
Track: C-18 Origin: RAPS Source: West Vancouver-Capilano
Our need to exercise fiscal restraint and accountability has challenged the social support Network of The Province. BC Liberals believe in providing adequate support to those who are truly in need.
We propose that the Provincial Government review social support programs and examine opportunities to strengthen our Provincial and community-based support systems as an integral component of broader social policy necessary to the health and general welfare of British Columbians.