NDP Routley aiming to work with Greens to bring positive change to BC

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, May 23 2017

Doug Routley, NDP MLA for Gabriola (within the riding of Nanaimo-North Cowichan), is optimistic following the recent provincial election.

“It was a really outstanding night, a fascinating campaign, considering all things.”

Routley said he was part of an NDP meeting in Vancouver this past week. The final results of the election may come in this week. Judicial reviews and recounts are planned for at least two ridings - one of which (Courtenay-Comox) was won by the NDP, but if it goes over to the BC Liberals will give the Liberals a majority government. 

Routley said, “I think no matter what....it is pretty clear people have voted together to choose a government that is more working for them and in their corner. 

“I think the agenda of the BC Liberals has been rejected, particularly when you look at the coast, the rejection of the Kinder Morgan expansion and so many of the BC Liberals policies and programs.

“I think it was an amazing result and an optimistic one.”

As for working with the BC Greens, Routley said he knows there are frictions between the BC NDP and the BC Greens, “but our policies are aligned, and in most cases it is a difference of degree. 

“We agree on the fundamentals of many core issues. We are seeing this as an opportunity that this kind of arrangement can work in a minority government and proportional representation. We can identify enormous areas of agreement that we can work on.”

He listed off the banning of corporate and union donations; Electoral reform (to proportional representation; Climate change goals; the Site C Dam; and absolute opposition of Kinder Morgan expansion as issues the two parties could work together on.

Given the short life span experiences by most minority governments, Routley was asked what he would like the NDP and Greens to get accomplished in the event the province has to go back to an election.

“The most achievable is to ban corporate and union donations and limit personal donations and ban those from outside the province. 

“That will get the big money out of politics.” 

Acknowledging the BC NDP receives 20% of its monies from unions, Routley said when, “you look at the makeup of the donations of the party - you can see who they will endeavor to serve.

“In the last two weeks of the campaign, the Liberals took in two million dollars. They took in two/thirds as much as the federal Liberals did across the country. 

“Things in this province are determined by the amount of money put on the table. So that’s one change. Easy to do.”

The next item Routley would see taken on with the BC Greens would be bringing in proportional representation. Both parties have said they would do so if given the chance to form government - though the NDP and Greens have different versions proposed.

As Routley said, “We agree we need to get there, but how is still the question.”

He said the NDP would UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - which the Greens have also promised to adopt.

By doing these items, Routley said, “we can show people that maybe it is possible for people to campaign on something and do it.

“And for someone to campaign on not doing something, and actually not do it.

“Whether this is four years or one year, to make those fundatmental changes would be amazing for all of us.”