Inside the NDP-Green governing agreement

Raise carbon tax, cut MSP premiums and raise minimum wage to $15

The cooperation agreement between the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Green Party calls for increasing the carbon tax starting next year, “immediately” beginning measures to stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and establish a “fair wages commission” to move to a minimum wage of “at least” $15 an hour.

NDP and Green MLAs met at the B.C. legislature Tuesday to sign the agreement, to be forwarded with a letter to Lt. Governor Judith Guichon this week asking for consideration of their status to govern. Opposition MLAs signed the agreement minutes after Premier Christy Clark announced she will call a new session to present a speech from the throne. That would be the united opposition’s first opportunity to defeat the government and propose an NDP government supported by the Greens.

With an NDP government supported by three B.C. Green MLAs, the carbon tax would rise by $5 to $35 a tonne in April 2018, continuing to rise by $5 a year until it reaches $50 a tonne by 2021, as dictated by the federal government.

The parties have agreed to proceed with a 50-per-cent reduction of Medical Services Plan in January 2018, as promised in the NDP platform. The NDP intends to stick to its plan to eliminate MSP entirely within four years, with some of the burden shifting to the income tax system.

The agreement does not include specifics on liquefied natural gas, but meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets would make it more difficult for large projects to proceed.

Education, seniors care, child care and Metro Vancouver transit improvements are listed as priorities for improvement, but there are few specifics. The agreement echoes the NDP platform, pledging to meet government guidelines for for public and private care homes.

READ: full agreement here

Other highlights of the agreement:

• Neither party has the right to unilaterally dissolve parliament, which would sit for four and a half years to move the scheduled election date to the fall of 2021. Spring and fall sessions of the B.C. legislature would be made mandatory.

• Legislation would be introduced to hold a referendum on proportional representation in the fall of 2018.

• The Greens are recognized as a third party, which provides additional money for support staff and increased pay for the leader, house leader and caucus whip.

• Both parties recognize the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation agreement.

• Put BC Hydro’s Site C dam project to immediate review by the B.C. Utilities Commission, but construction would continue, with major contracts already let and work in the river underway.

Just Posted

Today’s Road conditions and weather report

Quesnel River River Bridge undergoing maintenance now until 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, falling rocks Spences Bridge to Jackass

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Power back on for all residences in Quesnel area

Hydro crews cleaned up three outages last night, and turned power back on for fourth one today. KAREN POWELL PHOTO

FHL: Bear wins again over BCS with dramatic goal

Steve Dodge brings us all the highlights from the FHL

Highway 97 has slippery sections both north and south of Quesnel

Motorists will have to drive to road conditions and drive with caution

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Most Read