We are so lucky to live in this extraordinary province. With beautiful mountains, pristine wilderness, rivers and lakes, and wild coastline, we need to do all we can to protect this province we love and call home.
The challenge of climate change is global, but the impact is all too clear here in B.C. Record-breaking wildfires and floods displaced thousands of people and devastated many peoples’ livelihoods. I remember hearing the stories of two women from the Ashcroft Indian Band who fled on foot to escape a fast-moving fire, and a family in Grand Forks who watched their house be consumed by water in a matter of minutes.
These events are becoming more and more common. Extreme weather events, rising ocean levels, disruptions in our ecosystem, threats to our food and water supply are all signs that climate change is happening now. And the science is telling us it’s almost too late to stop it.
I believe we can do it. Because I believe in our people.
Scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators and ordinary people all over B.C. are working every day to fight climate change. I am inspired by the young people who marched on the B.C. Legislature, and in communities across the province, in solidarity with youth around the world calling for urgent action on climate change. Their demand for bold and sustained action to prevent further global warming must be heard.
Instead of ignoring the problem, we must build climate action into everything we do, to build a better future for people and the environment.
That’s exactly what we’re working on as government.
Last week we announced new incentives that make it easier and more affordable for British Columbians to install energy-saving products in their homes and businesses. Through the Better Buildings program, people can now get up to $3,000 back for switching to electric heat pumps and thousands more for installing energy-efficient windows and doors. For program details and to apply for your rebate, visit: BetterHomesBC.ca.
Last month we introduced new legislation that will help reduce climate pollution by phasing out gas-powered vehicles. The legislation will make zero-emission vehicles more available and affordable for people all over the province by requiring the sale of all new, light-duty cars and trucks be zero-emission vehicles by 2040.
Through the Clean Energy Vehicles for BC program, British Columbians can get up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Learn more about the CEVforBC program at cevforbc.ca.
Our government recently signed an agreement with the Business Council of B.C. to work together on low-carbon initiatives for industry. This first-of-its-kind agreement will help us meet the increasing global demand for products, services and solutions that reduce air pollution and protect our planet.
These initiatives are all part of our CleanBC climate plan, and there is much more to come. It will help us build a strong, sustainable, low-carbon economy that creates jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities in every part of B.C. It’s not just a climate plan, it’s an economic plan.
We all have a part to play in fighting climate pollution and growing a better, cleaner and more sustainable future. We must reduce air pollution, support cleaner industry, make our homes and businesses more energy efficient, and use cleaner transportation alternatives.
We’re asking you to do what you can, to move toward a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future.
B.C.’s strength is our people. It’s time to come together to create a better and cleaner province for today and tomorrow.
John Horgan is a Canadian politician serving as the 36th and current premier of British Columbia since July 2017. He has been leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party since 2014, and MLA for the constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005.