B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and NDP leader John Horgan take questions after signing their cooperation agreement for a minority government at the B.C. legislature May 30.

B.C. Greens exercise their influence on NDP

Renter grant, minimum wage, child care need work, Andrew Weaver says

They won’t defeat the NDP government over it, but B.C. Green MLAs don’t support NDP measures to hand out $400 annual grants to renters and set an arbitrary target of a $15 minimum wage.

Green leader Andrew Weaver says the renter rebate and the wage target were not in the NDP budget update this week because they aren’t specified in the governing agreement between the two parties. And it is that agreement, not any political party, that has the confidence of the legislature to govern.

“What the NDP promised in their election campaign is not really relevant to the situation today, because we also promised things in our election campaign, and the Liberals did as well,” Weaver said. “What is important is that we find those shared values that we can build upon, and that’s precisely what we’ve done.”

Asked Wednesday if Weaver has a veto on these measures, Premier John Horgan said work continues on the shared commitment to universal child care.

“When it comes to the renter’s rebate, we want to make sure that housing affordability is real for people,” Horgan said. “It can’t just be a slogan. The renters’ rebate was a key part of our election platform. We’re going to be working on that with the Greens and others right across B.C.”

Presenting the budget update Monday, Finance Minister Carole James said funding for key measures, including child care and the renter rebate, were delayed because several weeks were lost in the post-election uncertainty over who would govern.

RELATED: NDP’s signature child care promise put off

Weaver said the Greens and NDP have a shared value of making life more affordable, but rent assistance needs to go to people who most need it.

“We don’t think the means to that shared value, $200 million [in renter grants] shared by little bits to everyone, would be effective in getting to where you want to be,” Weaver said.

The fair wage commission is going ahead, but the target is gone because Weaver favours the Australian approach of getting expert input first on how to reach a living wage.

“Maybe the model of picking $15 out of the air, because Seattle did it and the B.C. Federation of Labour said do it, may not be the best approach,” Weaver said.

The NDP’s $10-a-day child care plan is similarly delayed. The Greens prefer universal early child care provided as a taxable benefit, with no cost up front and taxation at the end of the year for those who earn enough to pay.

Just Posted

Drugs and guns seized by Chilliwack Mounties in complex case

Drug trafficking investigations led to five arrests in three different locations across Chilliwack

Chilliwack RCMP trying to catch robbery suspect

Police hope someone will identify the person who appears in security camera footage

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

LETTER:Chilliwack trustee says dress code quotes out of context

Furgason says he wants to hear from parents, not union head

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Most Read