Sonia Furstenau Profile picture
Teacher, Mom, BC Greens MLA for Cowichan Valley, Leader of the @BCGreens
Jun 19 11 tweets 5 min read
Unregulated toxic drug deaths are the leading cause of death for every age group from 10 to 59 in British Columbia.

Accounting for more deaths than homicides, suicides, accidents and natural disease combined.

How did we get here and how do we get out? 1/ #bcpoli This overwhelming loss of life is a policy choice.

It is a decision made by successive governments to turn our social safety net into a high wire.

And by governments that say the right things but balk at doing what is necessary because it’s not politically expedient. 2/ #bcpoli
Jun 7 7 tweets 4 min read
Canada is on fire from coast to coast.

413 active fires, 26 thousand people evacuated, and over 3 million hectares burned. And we’re only in May.

What can our provincial government do to keep people safe? ⬇️1/ #bcpoli… 2023 is on track to be the worst year for wildfires.

Smokey skies have become a staple of the summer months in BC.

Installing air filtration systems in schools and public spaces to keep us, especially our children, safe must be a priority. 2/ #bcpoli
Jun 5 4 tweets 4 min read
Last week the @bcndp failed to put forward permanent, long-term solutions on the table to save #FairyCreek.

Instead they are kicking the can down the road, extending deferrals until 2025. 1/ #bcpoli #oldgrowth… The @bcndp needs to put conservation financing on the table so that Indigenous communities receive the benefits of protecting old growth and are able to diversify their economies away from resource extraction. But so far we've seen nothing. 2/ #bcpoli #oldgrowth
May 15 5 tweets 2 min read
It is shocking that the @bcndp is applauding sending BC cancer patients across the border for radiation treatment.

We used to be a leader in cancer care in Canada.

Today’s announcement shows that the system we currently have is failing to meet people’s needs. 1/ #bcpoli While it is critical people receive the treatment they need.

This initiative to send people for radiation to the United States reinforces what former Premier Horgan said last summer, that the healthcare system is teetering. 2/ #bcpoli
May 11 5 tweets 4 min read
We’re calling on the @bcndp to put an end to the outsourcing of essential public operations to for-profit corporations, and ensure that public workers in BC receive a #livingwage.

As things stand, workers are being nickeled and dimed. 1/ #bcpoli… The ongoing transit strike in the #FraserValley is a reminder of the importance of government responsibility for public services.

When government hands over operations of a public service to for-profit companies, it's the workers who pay the price. 2/ #bcpoli
May 10 7 tweets 6 min read
Transit staff in the #FraserValley have been on strike for 7 weeks.

These workers are underpaid & overworked by a private company the @bcndp have outsourced to provide an essential public service.

Their employer hasn't stepped up to negotiate & the gov't is silent. 1/ #bcpoli Fraser Valley residents are frustrated, but they understand the plight of CUPE 561.

Drivers in the region make 32% less than those in neighboring areas.

They work long standby hours making less than $3/hour. They have no pension plan. 2/ #bcpoli…
May 9 4 tweets 3 min read
How many restaurants would still be open if they failed 4 food safety inspections? None.

The law should be applied equally. CGL has shown they can't be trusted to operate.

The @bcndp gov't must stop protecting #CGL and revoke its permit. 1/ #bcpoli… Coastal Gaslink claims they are pausing construction in part of the project due to "the challenging terrain and the effect of climate change on watersheds" and “an abundance of caution”.

But their track record says otherwise. 2/ #bcpoli
May 8 6 tweets 4 min read
Today the gov't released a report on @BC_Housing, uncovering significant conflicts of interest & financial mismanagement.

The @bcndp have committed to implementing the report's recommendations by Spring 2024.

But this gov't has a serious problem with follow through. 1/ #bcpoli We've seen countless disturbing reports on gov't institutions.

Everything from lottery operators, to real estate, to environmental regulators have been exposed for criminal activity, misuse of funds & harm to public interest.

It's clear we're dealing with a systemic issue. 2/
May 2 6 tweets 3 min read
Misogynistic beliefs underlie all of Canada’s recent mass shootings, including the massacre that took place in Halifax 3 years ago.

As elected officials, there are steps we can take to stop these terrible events from happening & support women. 1/ #bcpoli… Nearly half of Canadian women experience intimate partner violence, yet the federal government plans to cut funding for women’s shelters.

BC must act to fill any necessary gaps, while delivering on the several unmet promises made by the @bcndp. 2/ #bcpoli
May 2 6 tweets 4 min read
Last year an average of 432 children went missing each month from BC's foster care system.

This is evidence of multi-level failure. Our kids aren't safe under government care.

The @bcndp promised "transformational" change but continues to prop up this failing system. 1/ #bcpoli .@RCYBC states "a lack of action has resulted in a welfare system that functions as a pipeline to child exploitation, sex trafficking & murdered/missing Indigenous girls."

This gov't has been warned that their care is unacceptable, yet problems continue to worsen. 2/ #bcpoli
May 2 5 tweets 4 min read
We’re calling on the @bcndp to immediately regulate the #ShortTermRental industry in order to reduce its effects on the #housingcrisis & improve safety for renters & hosts.

Our call is a 2-pronged approach to improve:

1) Data gathering/sharing.
2) Bylaw enforcement.

1/ #bcpoli BC Greens Call for immediat... Currently, BC has no system to accurately identify the number or type of housing units in the short-term rental market

Even in municipalities with existing bylaws and business license programs, hundreds if not thousands of units listed on these sites are unlicensed. 2/ #bcpoli 1.Introduce legislation tha...
May 1 4 tweets 3 min read
How many restaurants would still be allowed to operate if they failed their food safe inspection 4 times? None, because it poses a risk to the public.

And yet last Friday, Coastal Gaslink Pipeline or #CGL was found out of compliance for the 4th time. 1/ #bcpoli Since 2019 CGL has issued more than 30 warnings, nearly 20 orders and 3 fines.

How many more times will #CGL be allowed to disregard the laws and regulations that ensure the safety of British Columbians and protection of our environment and be allowed to continue? 2/ #bcpoli
May 1 5 tweets 4 min read
Today is the deadline given to Premier @Dave_Eby by the Select Standing Committee on Health to begin a public review of the #MentalHealth Act.

Mental health care in BC is broken because the Act which oversees it hasn't been substantially updated since 1964. 1/ #bcpoli Bc Greens call for improvem... We deserve a world where everyone is safe and supported.

In my own community, doctors tell me that patients are reporting with mental illness more than all other ailments.

Meanwhile, the MHA continues to cause harm by enforcing outdated stereotypes and stigma. 2/ #bcpoli
Apr 19 6 tweets 4 min read
BC is home to the most polluted watershed in North America due to Teck’s mining operation in the Elk Valley.

The BC gov't lobbied the Feds to not investigate the matter further - then the former premier took a job with a Teck spinoff.

Thread 🧵1/ #bcpoli… Today I asked Minister @GeorgeHeyman and @BruceRalston what role the former premier played, while he held public office, in the @bcndp's decision to support Teck's request not to bring the Elk Valley pollution case to the International Joint Commission. 2/ #bcpoli
Apr 18 5 tweets 3 min read
Ship breaking involves dismantling & recycling ships. It's one of the most environmentally damaging industries.
The @bcndp has permitted ship breaking operations in Baynes Sound where 50% of BC's shellfish is produced, risking our food security. 1/ #bcpoli… Old ships contain asbestos, hazardous materials, and heavy metals.

If properly regulated, ship breaking is an important industry.

However there are no specific regulations in BC, which poses a serious risk to workers, communities, and marine environments. 2/ #bcpoli
Apr 17 8 tweets 5 min read
In the last decade, our understanding of #mentalhealth & substance use disorders has changed drastically due to new research & shifting perspectives.

Yet the Mental Health Act (MHA), which governs treatment of these issues, hasn't been substantially updated since 1964 #bcpoli 1/ The MHA lacks safeguards to protect vulnerable British Columbians — it's been criticized by watchdogs @RCYBC, @BCOmbudsperson, @clasbc & @pivotlegal

While other provinces lead the way in modernization BC is stuck w/ a 20th century model to combat 21st century problems #bcpoli 2/
Dec 5, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
High numbers of children and teachers are missing school because they are sick. Children's wards and ERs are overwhelmed and operations for children and infants are being cancelled. #bcpoli 1/ We need public health guidance on how to reduce transmission of the viruses that are circulating in BC.
Instead, the @bcndp has quietly removed isolation requirements for people with COVID-19, reduced testing & reporting, and has given inadequate guidance on masking. 2/
Dec 1, 2022 11 tweets 7 min read
Everyone should have access to healthcare.

But in BC, people are going to desperate measures for care - sometimes paying thousands out of pocket.

Telus Health is charging for health care services. Today, @adriandix announced an injunction against them. 1/ #bcpoli For nearly a year we have called for the @bcndp to take action on #TelusHealth, a multi-billion dollar corporation charging a fee for ‘premium’ access to care.

It’s been a journey 👇🧵 2/ #bcpoli
Nov 30, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
British Columbia lost 179 more people to the toxic drug crisis in October.

Every single one is an avoidable death

Premier @Dave_Eby needs to make clear to British Columbians what he intends to do to address the toll of the illicit toxic drug supply. 1/ #bcpoli #safesupply This government is currently not doing enough to reduce the harms caused by toxic drugs.

If Premier Eby truly wants to save lives, he would introduce widely accessible safe supply. 2/ #bcpoli #safesupply
Nov 29, 2022 5 tweets 4 min read
Last week I asked @Dave_Eby to reiterate on the record his 100 day plan statement that we can’t expand or build new fossil fuel projects in BC.

Instead he said the @bcndp are “committed to meeting our climate targets”. Are they really? 1/ #bcpoli… BC’s climate accountability reports exist because the @bcgreenscaucus demanded them during the minority gov’t to ensure no future gov't could greenwash reality.

And the reality in British Columbia is that we are not on track to meet either our 2025 or 2030 targets. 2/ #bcpoli
Oct 25, 2022 6 tweets 7 min read
Today I asked @AdrianDix to explain how we can trust his or the PHO’s word after this @CapitalDailyVic & @bbybeacon story.

BCers have been misled about #COVID19 transmissions in schools.

There needs to be accountability. 1/ #bcpoli #bced #COVID19BC… Before a press conference in 2020, Dr Henry wrote to staff “We need to be able to give some data that supports what we keep saying - transmission in schools is low,” 2/ #bcpoli #bced #COVID19BC