B.C.’s Economic Recovery Is An Opportunity To Build

B.C.’s Economic Recovery Is An Opportunity To Build

The members of the steering committee of the Catalyst Business Coalition, including the Pembina Institute, sent the following letter to B.C. premier John Horgan:

April 8, 2020

Hon. John Horgan
West Annex, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4

Dear Premier Horgan:

Re: B.C.’s economic recovery is an opportunity to build resilience

Firstly, we want to express deep gratitude for the work that you, cabinet, and ministry staff are doing to safeguard the health and well-being of British Columbia’s frontline workers, families, businesses, and communities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Protecting the health of British Columbians and ensuring the resilience of our economy are paramount concerns. We commend you for your recent announcements — earmarking $1.5 billion for the economic recovery and establishing the Economic Recovery Task Force.

Immediate financial relief for impacted B.C. businesses and workers must be wide-reaching and forward-looking. Furthermore, climate solutions and economic resilience should be at the heart of economic stimulus interventions. This represents an extraordinary opportunity to simultaneously boost the economy in the short term and invest in growing B.C.’s clean economy for the long term.

As members of the steering committee of the Catalyst Business Coalition, we recommend that the B.C. government:

Following immediate financial relief, prioritize funding that supports employment opportunities that are resilient to future economic shocks and disruption as the world seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Prioritize investments that support the development of industries and businesses producing low- and zero-carbon goods and services to strengthen the foundation of B.C.’s clean economy and secure our domestic supply chain.
Make immediate investments in provincial and municipal green infrastructure projects that build resiliency to flood, wildfire, and other climate risks, and those that enhance the province’s capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Such projects will not only help B.C. address the climate emergency, but also create much-needed jobs for British Columbians.
Where possible, align stimulus and relief measures with B.C.’s efforts to achieve its climate targets. Investment in decarbonization and climate initiatives provides economic benefits that will support the province’s recovery efforts once the initial relief efforts are deployed.
Incentivize industrial decarbonization efforts that go beyond existing regulatory requirements.
Commit to implementing the 2020 increase to B.C.’s carbon tax once the immediate economic impacts of Covid-19 are addressed. The carbon tax is a cornerstone policy that effectively reduces carbon pollution and incentivizes behavioral changes and clean innovation at the lowest possible cost. The government can boost the economy by directing the revenue from the increase to green stimulus measures. As well, the government can protect and support families through the B.C. climate action tax credit.
Safeguard funding earmarked for the implementation of CleanBC policies and programs, and increase spending on initiatives covered by the above recommendations.

Climate leadership is a core value of the Catalyst Business Coalition. Our member companies are united by a vision of a diversified, resilient, and clean economy. We would welcome the opportunity to participate in the Economic Recovery Task Force and to discuss our recommendations with you and your team as we work collectively to secure the recovery and resilience of B.C.’s economy.

Yours sincerely,

Julia Balabanowicz
Co-chair, Catalyst Business Coalition
Director, government relations, Innergex Renewable Energy

Karen Tam Wu
Co-chair, Catalyst Business Coalition
B.C. director, Pembina Institute

Patrick Nangle
CEO, Modo Co-operative

Anna Stukas
Vice president, business development, Carbon Engineering

Greg Moy
Manager, government relations, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Dan Walker
Social impact lead, Arc’teryx

Andrew Wilkinson, Q.C., Leader of the Official Opposition
Adam Olsen, Leader of the Third Party
Tags: British Columbia, Provincial Policy, Economics, Corporate Action.

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