Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Budget to INCREASE global warming?



Despite rhetoric to the contrary it appears that yesterday's BC Liberal budget is designed to increase greenhouse gas emissions in this province.

The largest sources of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions in our province are from transportation and the fossil fuel extraction industries. So, the government chose to specifically increase activities in these areas.

There were cuts in health care, education and other social services. But no cuts in the province's controversial highway expansion projects. Even though the province's own documents admit that these projects will increase ghg emissions.

And the province kept in place the massive subsidies to the fossil fuel extraction industries. Costing the tax payers millions while increasing pollution.

But the government was not content to rely on these measures alone to increase ghg emissions. It cutback and cancelled many programs designed to reduce emissions.

The PST exemption on bikes, renewable energy systems and energy efficiency products is gone with the new HST. It also cancelled the LiveSmart program which also helped fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

And funding for public transit is up in the air. The government has made promises about funding for transit. But Translink, the agency responsible for delivering the services has said it does not have enough money for the evergreen line, the third seabus or additional much needed bus capacity. Again there seems to plenty of money for highway expansion but not for transit even though transit investment creates three times as many jobs.

This government's actions are clearly criminal and need to be stopped.