By on May 2, 2013

Hello. My name is John Kwasnica, the Green Party candidate for the Boundary Similkameen riding in the May 14 provincial election. My wife Angela and our four children relocated to the Okanagan Valley in 1985. In 1988, we bought a home in Oliver where I’m employed as a residential care worker.
I have become increasingly more interested in the philosophies at the core of the Green Party. One of the main aims is to gather ideas and solutions from the people of B.C., individual citizens, community groups, local governments, businesses and First Nations like the Osoyoos Indian Band, that have excelled and are very competitive in local business, in and around Oliver.
We would like to see all of these elements put together for a stronger economic plan in our South Okanagan riding and for all of British Columbia.
I’m getting out this message giving anyone a voice who would wish to work toward the governance of this province with a plan for a green economy. We want to improve our health care, building more affordable housing and try harder to move away from relying on fossil fuels. An objective for a better B.C. would be to invest in new infrastructure using green technology and retrofitting of houses and buildings to save energy.
We would also promote designing an advanced education model to educate young people and to retrain skilled workers for a new economy that will make the province more highly competitive in the global spectrum. The Green Party would also like to re-invest in traditional industries such as forestry, fisheries and agriculture to help create sustainability. We also encourage a return to local provision of social and health services.
We would be looking into reducing taxation on businesses that are responsible and sustainable. The wealth the present government has promised us by expanding the economy has not ended up in the hands of the middle class, hard-working Canadians.
It is, in fact, working toward our impoverishment by the over-exploitation of our natural resources and their export to other countries for processing and consumption will only make us resource poor in the future. These resources belong to British Columbians. There’s a company called BC Hydro, yet our power rates are astronomical. They want to build the Site C dam and flood thousands of hectares of agricultural land and the relocation of people only to ship power south or offshore. I, personally, haven’t heard of any promises to reduce rates.
Irresponsible consumption and ever expanding economic growth, made possible by cheap fossil fuels, and financed by debt, have created the recipe for climate change.
The end result is the floundering financial condition we experience today while hearing the Liberal mantra about “balanced budget.”
The Boundary Similkameen and South Okanagan is a unique region with a rich blend of cultures. There are many heritage sites, such as the old Fairview town site near Oliver, the mines and the Grist Mill in Keremeos.
I participated in a “work party’ there last Saturday to clean up the old mill. The present owners are interested in getting it up and running again. The last time it ran was around 1993. It was an excellent learning opportunity for young minds to visit from surrounding schools and just about everyone else.
The Green Party would like to give small business a boost by having production and consumption of goods moved closer together. This would result in a smaller ecological footprint and would create diversity and decentralization making for a stronger economy.
Our strength lies in our small businesses because they invest directly into the communities where they operate.
I urge you to consider voting Green. It’s a ‘go’ colour, so go Green.

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