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COMMENT: Premier’s decision to resign makes our day

BC Green Party leader, Jane Sterk

“Like others, the Green Party of BC was surprised by the timing of Gordon Campbell’s announcement that he is stepping down and has asked the BC Liberals to hold a leadership convention as soon as possible,” said Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. “We thought he would wait around until after the HST referendum so that the next leader had some hope of recovering any level of support for the BC Liberal party.

“We agree with the premier that his decision is in the best interests of the province and the people of BC. Contrary to his self-assessment, we don’t think he and his government is leaving the province better off. We disagree with his assessment that his policies have been good for the economy. After all, he has overseen adding almost $20 billion to our provincial debt and he has supported expansion of gambling, unsustainable expansion of resources extraction, selling off of public assets and cutting services to the most vulnerable as a way to compensate for his relentless tax cuts.

“Campbell’s personal unpopularity reflects the fact that he has not governed the way British Columbians expected. BC Greens congratulate the people of BC who voiced their opposition to the Campbell agenda through the anti-HST initiative and the many groups who protested his policies on social services, natural resource use, education and the arts. Campbell’s decision represents a huge win for grassroots democracy.

“BC Greens hope the BC Liberals understand that they have been put on notice, If they wish to continue to govern, they need to develop policies that are more in line with the expectations of the people of BC under their next leader. We also hope that while Campbell serves out his time as a lame duck leader, he reverses his recent decision on creating the super natural resource operations ministry.

“The federal government’s decision to oppose the Tasenko mine proves that more rather than less attention to the environmental impact of resource extraction is in order. The recent reorganization of ministries suggests that the premier wants to further erode any environmental checks on development rather than engage in a fair, consistent and defensible, evidence-based environmental assessment process.

“The Green Party of BC thanks the premier for two things: convening the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform and for introducing the carbon tax which put climate change on the government’s agenda. We regret that both were large symbolic gestures; that he did not support a simple majority to change the voting system which negated the work of the Citizens’ Assembly and that all other environmental policies subverted the value of the carbon tax.

“The Green Party accepts that Premier Campbell believes he was motivated by what’s best for BC. We wish him the best and thank him for making this decision,” concluded Sterk.

This article is a press release from the Green Party.