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Metro Vancouver's multicultural community gathered Saturday at B.C.'s longest standing immigration service agency, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., to hear how a balanced and sustainable economic future is possible for the province. Panelists agreed that protecting the environment is not only a must, but a key component to build a healthy economic future.
"It doesn't matter which party is in power," said Allen Zhu, Business Professor at Capilano University in North Vancouver. "Protecting the environment must be our government's important political platform. Our province is expected to benefit from green energy projects which will bring in more jobs and sustainable development opportunities."
Zhu added that he supports the carbon tax and urges the government to invest in protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development in British Columbia.
Fenella Sung, Cross-Cultural Communications Specialist and a panelist on the Saturday Forum, reiterated Zhu's view.
"As a first generation immigrant, I think the fact that we are all in the same boat with a goal and share the same value system is particularly important," Sung said. "We are immigrants, meaning that we have made a conscious choice to come to Canada. Many people think immigrants came here for economic reasons..... We choose to come to Canada because we choose clean air, clean water, safe food and sustainable economic development."
Sung reminded candidates and parties in this B.C. election that new Canadian voters will be looking for a strong environmental platform. "We will not take our environment for granted. We will value and protect our environment even more."
Panelists also focused on the importance of protecting our coastal waters, their species and coastal economies.
The 100 member audience included seniors, youth, representatives from political parties and the Chinese language media.