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November 8, 2014

Five Minutes of Your Time

    “Each of us has a job to do to educate our children, our family and our friends about how important it is that municipal politicians stand up for economic growth.  I believe that municipal politicians that have the courage to stand up for that should be rewarded. And they will be if every single one of you decides that you want to get involved and you want to elect the right kind of leaders in communities where you live.”

– Premier Christy Clark, October 2, 2104, Vancouver Board of Trade

The message is simple, but vital: a strong BC needs a strong economy.

Right now, we have an opportunity to get to a debt-free British Columbia with the support of our natural resources sectors and by expanding international trade. But, in order to fully seize these opportunities for growth, as our Premier so aptly points out, we have to do our part and help elect those who support our vision for a strong BC on November 15th.

And so, with only days remaining in the municipal campaign, I’m taking the time to get in touch with my family, friends, and neighbours to let them know how much their vote matters.  That’s why I’m sharing with you this important message from our Executive Director Laura Miller, and I hope that if you agree, you’ll share it too:

It’s easy in politics to oppose, to appeal to the lowest common denominator, to say no. It’s much harder to be principled, to take a stand. Now I don’t know about you but I want to elect candidates who actually stand for something, who understand and appreciate reality – particularly when it comes to jobs and the economy.

Our economy is resource-based. Forestry, mining, natural gas generate the wealth that keep our taxes low and pay for important services like education and health care. ‎These industries create and sustain hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in our community (if you live in an urban community, know that these industries support your local engineering, legal, financial, environmental, and supply companies). These industries keep BC strong.

‎We need BC to become even stronger. Responsible resource development is how we keep and create the jobs we need for future generations. Our children and grandchildren deserve to have the same, if not better, opportunities here at home.

(All the while, of course, protecting our province’s natural beauty and pristine environment. We’ve done a pretty good job of it so far. And with increased awareness and new technological innovations, we‎ can and will do better. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise).

‎These are indisputable truths about our economy. But not everyone believes it. There are some candidates who refuse to support responsible resource development. These naysayers would slow our economy to a crawl through red tape, which would result in higher taxes, fewer jobs, and more debt. And these candidates will succeed at this if their supporters show up at the polls.

Because, with voter turnout predicted to reach an all-time low, every ballot cast will carry more weight.

And that’s why I’m taking the time to write all of you today, to let you know that this election does matter and your vote counts for more than ever before.

So if you’re like me and believe in taking a stand, in a growing economy, in creating more jobs, in generating more opportunity for our province to keep taxes low and pay for hospitals and schools, ‎we need to be active in these elections. Here’s how:

  1. Identify the local candidates who support economic growth and demonstrate respect for the one taxpayer, to manage down rising costs of municipal governments.
  2. Make a plan to vote so you can support these candidates. Find your local polling station. Set a time on November 15th you’ll go cast your ballot. Arrange to go with a friend or family member (or better yet 5 of them)
  3. Take 5 minutes right now to reach out to your friends, family, and neighbours. ‎Forward this message. Or write your own. Post it on Facebook or your office bulletin board. Share the contents over coffee, in your driveway, or at the arena.

Whatever you do, however you choose to do it, let’s dig deep over the next few days and work to elect municipal candidates who stand for something: a strong BC.

By Jillian Stead