Carole James and Andrew Weaver speak to the changes in the speculation tax at the B.C. Legislature. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Following legislative process key to cross-party amendments: Andrew Weaver

Green party leader Andrew Weaver on working with Liberals, Uber, speculation tax

The trick to governing down the middle is not trying to please everyone, Andrew Weaver said during a year-end interview with Black Press Media and the Oak Bay News.

The leader of the BC Green Party plays a key role in keeping the minority NDP government afloat, something which he calls the balance of responsibility. This is in addition to acting as the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. He believes the few times where he’s had to balance those roles, he’s done well.

“This is why it’s ‘responsibility,’” rather than balance of power, Weaver said. “The issue with the speculation tax, it was one where there were a diversity of views. This affected Oak Bay, and it also affected the broader province. I was very careful in trying to determine what was in my ridings’ best interest versus broader British Columbia’s best interest on that — I think we came to a good place through amendments and negotiations to something that I can truly say is OK for both.”

READ MORE: Weaving between giants: BC Green leader talks CleanBC to LNG

Three Green amendments made it into the speculation and vacancy tax. They require that mayors be part of an annual review process with the Minister of Finance, that revenue raised by the tax will be used for housing initiatives within the region it came from, and finally they equalized rates for Canadians and British Columbians at 0.5 per cent.

Just before Bill 45’s second reading, the government made legislative drafters available to all parties.

“In order for us to improve amendments, you have to ensure that they’re actually written in a legal fashion. What legislative drafters do is they take the ideas of your legislation and they put them forward into a legal document that you can actually introduce, and if it were to pass it would actually make sense legally,” Weaver said.

Weaver says that following that process is key to being able to work across parties. That’s why he voted against a Liberal push to bring ride sharing sooner than the governments bill, despite his own disappointment in how long the overall process has taken.

READ MORE: It takes forever: Weaver on derelict boats

“The Liberals were playing nothing but a political stunt and a political game,” he said. “The B.C. Liberals choose to play games and not use the legislative drafters. We cannot support any B.C. Liberal amendment that actually has not gone through legislative drafters because it would be irresponsible for us.”

Weaver estimates to have spent hundreds of hours attempting to bring ride-hailing into B.C. over the last four years, and he’s content with how the file has turned out so far.

“The amendments that my colleague Adam Olsen got through were critical,” Weaver said in reference to giving the Passenger Transportation Board more flexibility to approve licenses.

“Yes, we were actually working with Lyft and Uber to know exactly what was needed to bring ride hailing here. Have a look at the fact that Uber is now advertising on the radio in British Columbia, and Lyft just took over centre ice in Vancouver. That’s got nothing to do with Liberal amendments.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read