Dana for BC NDP Leader

    April 8, 2011
    BC NDP Leadership candidate Dana Larsen announced today that he is calling upon his supporters to put John Horgan as their second ballot choice.
    "To all the new activists who joined the BC NDP to support my leadership bid, and to the grassroots members who welcome the vision and boldness of my campaign, I am publicly declaring that John Horgan has won my second ballot support."
    "After spending three months on the campaign trail with all the candidates, I've had a chance to see how party members, the media and the public react to their policies and personalities. I believe John Horgan has the populist charisma to win the next provincial election."
    Larsen stated that he was won over by Horgan's depth on public policy stemming from his experience when the NDP held government in the 90s, and the outstanding work he has done as an Opposition MLA.
    "John can explain complex issues in a way that lets people understand how government decisions will affect them,” said Larsen. “He proved that as Critic for both the Education and Energy Ministries, and has demonstrated it to packed halls around the province during this Leadership tour. He is the Premier BC desperately needs right now. We can't take four more years of Liberal rule."

  • Vote Dana Larsen Campaign
    March 10, 2011
    Dana Larsen calls for BC to assert regulatory control over medical marijuana patients, dispensaries
    BC NDP Leadership candidate Dana Larsen called today for the province to assume regulatory control over medicinal cannabis dispensaries in BC.
    “Health care is provincial jurisdiction. As Premier, I would assert provincial control over medicinal cannabis and create a regulatory system to license medicinal cannabis patients, non-profit dispensaries and their suppliers." said Larsen. "The fact is that BC already has a thriving network of medicinal cannabis dispensaries, some of which have been operating for over a decade. More are opening on a regular basis, and it is time for the provincial government to get involved and regulate this vital medicine."
    "Over 10,000 patients across BC are currently being served by these dispensaries, and many tens of thousands more are forced to access this medicine from the underground street market," continued Larsen. "These patients have a constitutional right to access cannabis medicines and we should allow them to get it in a safe and reliable manner. The courts have ruled that InSite is provincial, not federal, jurisdiction, because it is a health care facility. Medicinal cannabis dispensaries are also health care facilities and therefore are also under the jurisdiction of the province."
    Although there's almost a dozen dispensaries operating in Vancouver and Victoria with no legal problems, dispensaries in smaller communities sometimes suffer from police raids. Most recently, a non-profit cannabis dispensary in Courtney was raided, their medicine was seized and the Directors are facing jail time. This is unacceptable and it is time for the province to step in and take the lead on this issue.
    "Medicinal cannabis products should be covered by Pharmacare like any other prescription medication," concluded Larsen. "As the Director of two non-profit societies which together serve about 3000 patients, I see every day how our patients are able to drastically reduce their use of pharmaceuticals. This results in a saving to taxpayers and reduces the strain on our health care system."

  • Vote Dana Larsen Campaign
    February 23, 2011
    BC NDP Leadership candidate Dana Larsen pledges to eliminate BC's deficit by reversing all the Liberal's corporate tax cuts and increasing income taxes on the richest 0.6%.
    The Dana Larsen Leadership campaign today announced a plan to address British Columbia's structural deficits and increasing income inequality. The plan would eliminate the deficit and increase education funding without raising taxes on the vast majority of British Columbians.
    “Campbell's corporate tax giveaways since 2001 have failed to increase corporate investment in BC. Instead they've just massively increased corporate profits and decreased revenue available for program spending” said Larsen. “Meanwhile, we have the richest 1% paying less tax than the poorest 10%, while at the same time the income gains of the past 40 years have overwhelmingly favoured the rich. This situation is not sustainable.”
    “I propose we return corporate tax rates to the 2001 levels of 16.5%," said Larsen. "This will by itself nearly eliminate our deficit, leading to an increase in investment and job creation in our province."
    "Beyond that, I advocate raising taxes on the top 0.6% of our society, that is people earning more than $250,000 per year. Currently the top tax bracket is 14.7% on annual income over $100,000. I propose we institute a new tax bracket for income over $250,000 and set that rate at 26%.”
    "This modest tax increase on the richest British Columbians will be used to generate enough revenue to meaningfully expand per student funding in British Columbia. This will result in greater economic prosperity and equality for the future of our province”
    Larsen pointed to overwhelming data from Canada, the US and the European Union showing that tax cuts or increases on corporations and the wealthy have less of an effect on investment and job creation than previously believed. Further, when the resulting revenue is invested in things like education, the benefits to government and the economy outweigh the costs of the taxes.
    “We as a society have to ask ourselves, is it appropriate to cut taxes on the rich, reduce funding for education, and force future generations to pay for it?” concluded Larsen, “How can we look our children in the eye and tell them a few extra dollars for the top 0.6% of our society is more important than their education? We must deal with these tough decisions today, not force our children to clean up our mess tomorrow.”

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