British Columbians share a vision of a fair, affordable and sustainable society. But politics as usual won’t get us there.

For too long, enormous power has pooled in the hands of Big Money donors, industry CEOs, lobbyists and political insiders. They have more influence over government decisions and more access to politicians than everyday British Columbians.

This has real consequences for real people. Young families are fleeing their home towns because of the housing crisis. Fentanyl overdoses are killing too many of our friends and family members. Climate catastrophes like forest fires and flooding are devastating our communities.

We need a say — a real say — in the decisions that our government makes.

The first step was banning Big Money from politics. Until very recently, provincial decision-makers were able to take unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions and wealthy donors, from anywhere in the world. Thanks to British Columbians who stood up and said “enough is enough,” we now have campaign finance laws.

But there was more work to be done to build a democracy that actually represents the people who live in B.C. We needed to find out how decision-making was truly made under the “Wild West” system and hold those responsible accountable. This is why Dogwood launched our call for a corruption inquiry, and now we are on our way to getting the answers British Columbians deserve.

Still, we can’t stop there. Democracy should be accessible to everyone — especially those who are going to bear the burden of today’s decisions. We’re inspired by millions of high school students marching for a safe climate future, and we support the 16 and 17-year-olds who are asking for the right to vote. It’s time to lower the voting age in B.C.

We need to level the playing field — whether it’s by limiting the influence lobbyists and donors have over our government, or making sure the next generation has an opportunity to shape their future.

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