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October 27, 2017 5:22 pm

Horgan and Weaver Address Media

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 @ 2:28 PM

Prince George, B.C. –  New Democrat Leader John Horgan and B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver  have officially signed their agreement which  will  put  the NDP in charge  of the Province.

At an event   which featured  the  signing of the agreement, Weaver  commended Premier Christy Clark  for  her comments  that she would recall the legislature soon to  test the confidence in her government he said he hopes  that happens “in a timely fashion”.

The two  say there will be  extensive consultation  and a referendum on electoral reform so the  current “first past the post” system  will become a thing of the past.

Horgan says  his team has not yet had access to the transition documents which  detail  how a new government can proceed, but he is hopeful  Clark will recall the legislature  as soon as possible in  order to have the transition  begin and a budget can be developed.

Horgan says his team will  start working on the softwood lumber  dispute as soon as possible, and will  make moves to stop the exportation of raw logs.  He maintained  he would call  for a  review of Site C by the BC Utilities  Commission  and there will be specific timelines ( 6 weeks and  three months) for  results on that review.   He said the project would not be stopped while that review is underway, and there would be  an examination of the consequences of  stopping the project should that be their final decision.

The two leaders don’t agree on every issue, including elimination of tolls  on bridges in the lower mainland, but maintain they are  looking for ways to  deal with  issues such as reducing  real estate speculation  which is driving up housing costs in the lower mainland.

Highlights of the agreement are:

  • Reforming the electoral system, getting the influence of big money out of politics, and reforming lobbying rules;
  • Recognizing that education is about lifelong learning and fast-tracking enhancement to K-12 education funding;
  • Protecting and promoting public health care, creating a proposal for an essential drugs program,
  • giving families the security of quality, affordable child care;
  • Improved  transit;
  • Giving more attention to the opioid crisis
  • Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force and an Innovation Commission;
  • Eliminating Medical Services Premiums;
  • Implementing a basic income pilot project;
  • Fighting climate change while creating good jobs and introducing rebate cheques that will mean most people pay less while increasing the carbon tax beginning in 2018;
  • Sending the Site C project immediately to an independent review;
  • Opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.

“We’re pretty excited about it” said Horgan “we can’t wait to get going.”



If he goes with this ridiculous, inane idea of combining two parties into one to defeat another party it shows me what kind of great lengths he will go in order to achieve the Mickey Mouse status he greedily tastes to run BC. Not democratically of course. I will never recognize this fraudulent act and will refuse to recognize him as our premier. He doesn’t honestly derserve it! My own opinion, separate the North from the South! LOL

    I think you should do a little research on democracies in Europe. You’ll be shocked at how many parties need to come together to form some semblance of a government.

      I did not vote for two parties at once. You get 1 vote to choose. The parties should not choose it for us. I don’t care what they do overseas, I live in BC! Research has nothing to do with it, let’s keep it grassroots simple and not get muddled in political mud! This will always be my stance, whether I vote Liberal, NDP or Green doesn’t come into the equation, my democratic right basically goes out the window when this happenL

Good grief. Where is all the money to pay for this going to come from? Oh wait, never mind, I’ll go grab my wallet.

    No kidding hey. If the libs won, everything they planned on doing was going to be for free.

      The Liberals policies would have been paid for through our taxes. With the NDP / Greens ain’t nobody but the civil service gonna have a job.

John-boy & Dennis the menace are in for a rude awaking.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline is in the “national interest”.

Justin has basically said that.

So if they expect funding from the feds.

Its about Canada not just BC.

    John Boy, bwahahahaha! Life is still a mystery for him!

Whee welcome to another economic depression hope the NPDers are happy

Doom and gloom has now beset BC according to the liberal supporters. How easily they forget the liberals “user fees” and “carbon tax”. let us not forget how hydro rates and ICBC insurance rates have far out paced inflation so the liberals can use these crown corporations as cash cows.

    Tit for tat

    NDP were responsible for

    Beetle kill inaction
    Shutting down the mine industry
    Letting the environmentalists and natives run the government
    Economic recession

      “Letting … natives run the government”

      Rather a racist put down of the NDP, isn’t it? Don’t “natives” have the same rights as anyone else in your world?

      I am sure alot of whites voted NDP aswell.

    The province of Alberta has an NDP government. “Alberta’s carbon levy provides a financial incentive for families, businesses and communities to lower their emissions. Economists agree that a price on carbon is the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions. It drives innovation and changes behaviour by encouraging individuals and businesses to become more energy efficient and shift away from higher emission fuels.

    The levy will also help diversify our energy industry and create new jobs, and is already improving access to new markets and better prices for our traditional energy products.”

    How do you like that? Perhaps not too much!

      Man, have you ever been drinking the NDP’s Look-Aid!

      HG, my post was in response to the above:”How easily they forget the liberals “user fees” and “carbon tax”. The “liberals” are being cited for having a carbon tax, but so does the Alberta NDP.

      Oops, sorry!

      I’ll blame this on my “I’m in shock over the possibility of having to suffer through a Horgan Premiership”, haha!

      Haven’t even gotten over Trudope being elected yet!

      Economists agree eh? Yea…because economists have never been wrong before….

Intersting, according to the Mighty Tighty Righties, the province has already gone to pot, there are no jobs, all mines have closed and we are bankrupt with no economic activity whatsoever. Yet, Christy is still Premier and the NDP has not taken power yet. Do you think they are spouting a teensy weensy bit of overkill in their hyperbolic political fantasies?

    ammonra, where are the Mighty Tighty Righties saying that the province has already gone to pot?

    Where are they saying that all mines have closed?

    Where are they saying that we are bankrupt with no economic activity whatsoever?

    With an NDP Government, we should all be afraid of those things happening, except of course if you happen to be a public sector worker! Where did you say that you work?

      Hart Guy, do you not recognise sarcastic hyperbole when you read it? And here I thought you were politically acute in your own zone.

      Actually, I do not work, I am retired after a lifetime of contributing to a pension plan and paying taxes, mostly to rightist governments. My living standards are pretty basic as a consequence.

      Gee, I sure hope that you’re not a member of a taxpayer subsidized and guaranteed public sector defined benefit pension plan! That would really suck now, wouldn’t it, knowing that hard working people without a pension plan have been forced to contribute to and are responsible for any shortfalls that may arise from underfunded public sector pension plans unfunded pension liabilities and all that! ;-)

      Me? I already stated “self-employed” and have been for over 35 years. No pension, just RRSP’s and TFSA’s, none of which anybody but myself has contributed to or is responsible for!

      Well, Hart Guy, I suppose you can hope for whatever you choose to hope for, but my pension income is really none of your business.

      However, in BC there is no subsidy to government sector pension plans anymore and there has not been since the NDP government removed the obligation before the Liberals were elected.

      In fact, I remember the Liberal supporters both in and out of the press (the Citizen in particular) criticising the NDP for including the amount set aside for liability as an “asset” in the budget because it was no longer needed. In fact, it was just a bookkeeping adjustment, nothing more. The Liberals subsequently did the same, I might add, but not a peep in that case.

      My point is that your information would appear to be 16 years out of date. How politically astute of you. However, since the NDP did that (and note that it was the NDP and NOT the Liberals) public sector pension plans in BC have been completely self financing from employee contributions and matching contributions from employers as part of their remuneration obligations. Do also remember, that public sector pension plans were originally set up by WAC Bennet as a way of forcing contributions from government sector workers so he could have a cheap source of financing for his megaprojects, like Hydro dams. For that reason, it is not and never has been primarily union driven, and non-union government employees may have better benefits that union employees. Doctors also have a different arrangement, I understand, but still have the standard contribution from their employer (MSP) included in their fees.

      Perhaps you should learn a little bit about it instead of spouting the usual tired old rhetoric.

      ammonra, you are correct that the BC public sector pensions are funded equally with both employee contributions and matching contributions from employers.

      My issue, one that you seem to have missed is that I, we, the taxpayers ARE the employers!

      We have seen numerous studies that show that our BC public sector workers enjoy salaries in excess of comparable private sector salaries. I certainly don’t believe that taxpayers should also be making contributions to public sector worker’s pension plans as well!

      It kinda, sorta rubs me that wrong way that I and others must contribute to somebody else’s pension plan, when many people don’t have a pension plan and struggle to put money away for their own retirement!

      I have my own retirement plans, including but not limited to my RRSP’s and TFSA’s! Nobody helped me or helps me with my contributions and that’s fine with me, but don’t ask or demand that I help you fund yours!

      I take care of my own retirement plans, you take care of your own! In other words, I’ll stay our of your pocket and you stay out of mine!

      ….and as far as public sector pension plans being underfunded:

      “If there is a shortfall, contribution rates increase for a 15 year period to close the gap. The intent of this process is to keep the plan fully funded to meet its current and future liabilities.”

      So, if there is a shortfall, employees will have tio kick in more, and so will the employer!

      So will the employer?


      Employer? That’s the taxpayer, that’s you and that’s me!

      So, yes, I am subsidizing public sector pension plans today, and if there is a short fall, I will be subsidizing them in the future!

      I have no choice, the Government will simply raise my taxes so that they can increase their (my) share to the public sector plan!

      Your turn now, ammonra! Tell me again about how there is no subsidization fo BC’s public sector pension plan!

      Or, is there something else that you think that I need to learn a bit more about?

      Hart Guy, it would appear that you and I have differing views as to what constitutes a “subsidy”. Public sector pension plans are funded by employee deductions of about 7% of income, matched by an employer contribution of about the same amount. According to legislation this is part of the employee’s remuneration package. It is not a subsidy. It is their pay for the job they do. The money is not the employer’s since once it becomes a liability for the employer it becomes part of the employee’s income. Incidentally, while the employee must make their payment up front, usually monthly, the employers often just accrues a liability which is paid to the pension plan in a lump sum when the employee actually retires. My point, emphatically, is that the matching contribution from emplyers is just as much a part of the employee’s income as the 7% they pay up front.

      As to whether the taxpayer is the “employer” or not is an arguable point. Certainly, when it comes to labour law each employing entity of the government is treated as a separate employer and unions are certified separately, Health care, for instance, or Municipal Government. I have never heard that Municipal Governments consider themselves to be Health Care employers. Certainly, the City of Prince George does not consider itself to employ nurses who work at the UHNBC, do they? It is perhaps more accurate to say that the taxpayer is one of the major funding sources for employing people to provide services in the public sector that taxpayers demand and which governments consider desirable. Another, and about equal source is royalties, fees and licenses etc. That is, the taxpayer is the source of part of the money used to pay employees but not all of it. Note, that even so, once the work has been done and the money paid, it ceases to be taxpayers’ money and becomes the employee’s money in exactly the same way that when a customer of yours pays his bill, the money becomes yours. It does not remain his and is no longer his concern, just as the public employee’s money is no longer the taxpayers’ concern.

      Surveys of public sector pay rates are suspect. I have seen such surveys which showed that public sector workers were paid significantly less than employees in private companies, the lumber industry in particular. One point thaet is rarely clarified is how do you rate the importance of what a nurse does in a hospital against what a faller does in a forest? Who should be paid the most? Since many public sector job descriptions involve skills never needed in private industry, and vice versa, how can it be possible to evaluate them. For that reason, alone the surveys you refer to are pointless.

      You quote, without reference, “If there is a shortfall, contribution rates increase for a 15 year period to close the gap. The intent of this process is to keep the plan fully funded to meet its current and future liabilities.”

      The first word in this quotation is the most important one, “If”. To emphasise, I could say, “If my house burns down, my insurance company will replace it.” However, it does not become their obligation until there is a fire. Until then, they have no liability, no obligation.

      The point is that “If” clauses only take effect when the specified condidion is met, otherwise they mean nothing. So tell me, Hart Guy, when has this “If” clause ever been invoked. Cetrtainly, it has not been invoked during the last 16 years since the NDP made public sector pension plans self funding, and I am not aware that it happened prior to that either. In other words, your point is pointless. Thare is no top up to pension benefits in the BC public pension system. It is fully funded from employees’ incomes, keeping in mind that once paid to the pension fund the employer contributions become part of the employee’s assets.

      However, even if the “if” clause is activated, the shortfall is taken care of by employee contributions matched by employer contributions, and not as a subsidy from the government, as you imply. They also have to vote on it and agree to increase contributions, but that point wasn’t important enough for you to include, I guess. In fact, such a scenario was turned down a short while ago and pension benefits were cut instead. That is the real life experience, not your sky is falling scenario.

      However, you are correct that subsidies to pensions take place. Most people who have RRSPs and TFSAs claim them as a tax deduction, and the taxes due are reduced as a consequence. That is a direct subsidy to pension plans. Do you claim this on your RRSPs and TFSAs, Hart Guy? How do you feel about minimum wage employees who can barely survive on what they earn having to pay more taxes so you can have a subsidy to your pension arrangements? Does that also kinda, sorta rubs you the wrong way that they have to contribute to your pension?. Perhaps you do not really care. If you do care why not stop claiming the subsidy on your tax return? Put your pension where your mouth is. :-)

“and will make moves to stop the exportation of raw logs” …. and?
What will replace those jobs? Do they plan on reopening sawmills in those areas where they export raw logs? Will they reinstate the rule that says local logs have to be processed locally? If they do that, then fine, but if all they do is put people out of work, where is the good in that?

Best thing that could happen is to have a change in government. I was very glad to see Fassbender get the boot. I would imagine Christie’s paper shredder will be working 24 hrs. a day and someone will have a sore finger working on the delete files.

The mighty tightly righties will be mourning the loss of having to pay MSPs up front . Fairly folding it into the income tax system like all the other provinces do will give them PTMSPD . Only the MTRs see fees and taxes as two different things in a different column .

    Ataloss, some of us mighty tighty righties have never mind having to pay MSP premiums.

    Unlike many left wing nuts, perhaps even you, us tighty righties recognize that nothing that the government provides is free! My monthly MSP premium reminds me that our public healthcare system is not free, that it is paid for with tax dollars and MSP premiums!

    We recognize that if the Government doesn’t get the taxes it needs from one source, then it will get them from another source and ultimately that source is you and me, the taxpayer.

    With that being said, I’m of mixed opinion on the MSP. Raise my taxes or charge me a monthly MSP premium, whatever!

    The one clear benefit of eliminating the MSP premium is that we should be able to immediately get rid of perhaps the hundreds or thousands of public sector workers that currently collect and manage the MSP system!

    You’re ok with that aren’t you Ataloss, laying off public sector employees that are no longer required?

      I thought the MSP system was privatized. Aren’t they related to Accenture from the States?

    I never minded paying MSP premiums..At least I know where the money was going up front. Either way you will have to pay medical some way through a tax..There is no free lunch which a lot of people seem to forget. The problem with other peoples money is..It eventually runs out.

I am surprised they do not have the minimum wage going up to $15 per hour as one of the agreements.

If Medical Premiums are eliminated, he biggest winners will be the businesses who pay premiums for their employees.

As a biggish colledge , medical , regional centre , this should be of intense interest :
Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force and an Innovation Commission. This is what you do .

    Ah yes, because nothing generates results like a task force or commission . . .

      Text book buzz words..big on dazzle with little substance..

That list of agreement items is full of non-specific items and it lacks any supporting detail. Even “eliminate MSP premiums”. Okay, so then how will they makeup the funding shortfall?

There’s really nothing there to get excited about unless you think that you can govern based on motherhood statements and platitudes, which by the way, seems to be pretty normal for all governments.

When will we start seeing actual policy proposals that have been well researched and analyzed?

All this bickering is meaningless. Whether it’s the unholy alliance of Darrell and his other brother Darrell in charge or Christy manages to hang on there will be another election by this time next year, if not later this year. The last time we had a minority government back in 1952 it lasted only a few months before legislature was dissolved and another election called.

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