Doug Donaldson

Doug Donaldson

Stikine candidates share their point of view: Doug Donaldson, NDP

The Interior News gave each candidate 500 words to discuss homelessness, health care and the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

  • May. 1, 2013 8:00 a.m.

I believe the topics of healthcare, homelessness and pipelines in Stikine are all linked.

They are interwoven in many ways.

For instance, healthy citizens in our communities are more engaged in making decisions regarding responsible development of our natural resources.

And thriving rural communities, ones where an issue like homelessness is addressed, are at the basis of a robust rural economy.

The platform commitments outlined below are made with this overall vision for an improved future for Stikine, and change for the better in the province.

Public health care is at the heart of a healthy and more equal rural society in Stikine.

It’s also an important part of our economy, keeping our citizens healthy and providing the province with a significant competitive advantage over our neighbours south of the border.

The BC NDP will improve home support and community care so seniors in Stikine have expanded and better existing services.

We will increase access to mental health and addiction services which have largely been eroded and ignored in the north.

We will strengthen primary and community health services to relieve pressure on acute care, especially in rural areas like Stikine.

And we will develop a Rural Acute Care Initiative to improve acute care and emergency services in our hospitals.

To have homelessness in such a resource-rich region like Stikine is a disgrace.

Lack of safe and secure housing takes a human toll and leads to instability in our communities.

Young people and seniors are often at the greatest risk regarding homelessness in Stikine.

Addressing the issue requires a full spectrum of housing approaches, including supported living, transition housing, affordable and available rentals and affordable houses.

The BC NDP will build up to 1,500 units of affordable, non-profit, co-operative and rental housing for low-and-moderate income families, seniors and individuals by leveraging the existing $250 million Housing Endowment Fund to support partnerships and equity contributions with local governments, the private sector, and the non-profit and co-operative housing sectors.

The BC NDP supports responsible development of our natural resources so that they can provide jobs locally and revenue generation for the province.

We will support increased skills training in Stikine for jobs.

We will reinvest in forestry and agriculture and reduce permitting delays for mining initiatives that meet thorough environmental standards.

We oppose the Enbridge pipeline and we do not believe in gambling our entire economic future on just one industry — liquefied natural gas.

We will take a more measured approach to that sector, initiating a full, independent, scientific-based review of fracking, applying a cumulative effects lens to any new natural gas pipeline development and assessing proposed LNG plants using BC’s legislated greenhouse gas emissions targets.

These are some of the commitments we have made to provide a more competent, trusted government that includes an optimistic vision that brings people together.

Change for the better also means no surprises, taking a fiscally responsible approach and showing how we will pay for our platform commitments such as the ones outlined above.