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73% in B.C. Support Just, Sustainable Transition

The majority of British Columbians support a more just, sustainable transition into a post-pandemic economy, according to online poll results released last week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“We see a strong majority saying as we look to the recovery, we don’t want to simply rebuild the economy we had, but rebuild a more equitable and sustainable economy,” CCPA economist Alex Hemmingway told CBC. “73% want to see that.”

Support for a more equitable, sustainable economy crossed party lines, earning a thumbs-up from 85% of NDP supporters, 60% of Liberals, and 90% of Greens, CCPA reports. Among provincial Liberals, the poll found a 60-to-36% split between respondents who wanted to build back better or just rebuild the existing economy.

CBC says 83% of respondents supported a shift to universal public senior care, 77% backed paid sick time for all workers, 70% supported higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and 67% agreed with increasing social assistance rates to above the poverty line.

“People are recognizing, as part of the result of the pandemic itself and the economic difficulties that it’s created, how connected all our fates are and how dependent we are on each other,” Hemingway said.

I think one thing that suggests that these results will be robust over time is that you see consistency in the appetite to tax wealth and corporations during the pandemic and also pre-pandemic,” he added. “It may be a case that those issues have been brought to prominence and those opinions will crystallize over time.”

The survey focused on a range of health, community, and social service supports, not the elements of a green, low-carbon recovery. But CCPA says 53% supported and only 19% opposed a transition fund for fossil workers unlikely to recover from the oil price crash.

On Medium, meanwhile, 350 Canada is out with a list of six better ways for the federal government to spend the C$16 billion it’s currently lavishing on fossil companies, according to the recently-released Energy Policy Tracker.

Digital Organizer Jennifer Deol and Senior Digital Specialist Atiya Jaffar call for $5 billion for emergency transit funding, $5 billion per year for affordable housing, $3.2 billion to end boil-water advisories on First Nations reserves, $200 million to address the opioid crisis, $300 million per year for local programs to replace policing and “ensure no more Black and Indigenous lives are lost to state-sanctioned police violence”, and $150 million to kick-start 100 Indigenous-led renewable energy projects