B.C. Green Party candidate Yvonne Prest. Ezra Black/The Free Press

Prest happy with coalition

B.C. Green Party Kootenay East candidate Yvonne Prest says the NDP-Green alliance is in the best interests of British Columbians.

Prest is a 31-year-old secondary school teacher who received 1,814 votes, or about 11 per cent of the total in May’s provincial election.

“If we were going to have a Liberal majority again, I would be fearful for the future of B.C. given the past 16 years but the voters voted, they voted for change and we’re getting it,” she said. “And that’s exciting. It’s a great time to be alive in B.C.”

On May 30, the New Democrats and Greens signed an agreement on how they would work together to form the next government.

In it they have promised to implement an increase of the carbon tax by $5 per tonne per year, refer the Site C dam project to the BC Utilities Commission for review and to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Prest said she fully supports those commitments.

“We’ve done our homework,” she said. “Most of (the Green) candidates are either teachers, philosophers or scientists and I can get behind their ideas because those are people who don’t do anything without looking into it and researching it.”

With regard to electoral reform, both parties have pledged to introduce new legislation during the first sitting of the next session of the legislative assembly. It would call for a referendum on proportional representation that would take place in the fall of 2018.

They also agreed to introduce legislation to ban corporate and union donations, contributions from non-residents of British Columbia and place limits on individual contributions.

Prest said electoral reform is needed because she believes some residents have lost faith in the democratic process.

“So many people I know didn’t vote in this election because they didn’t believe their vote mattered,” she said.

She hopes all three major parties can work together, “so B.C. residents are ready and not afraid of having more proportional governments in the future.”

The B.C. Legislature will be recalled Thursday, June 22. Premier Christy Clark could lose a confidence vote in the house which would allow the NDP to form a minority government.

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