Premier John Horgan blamed the former Liberal Government last month, “They got to the point of no return … It wasn’t about public policy, it wasn’t about energy policy, it wasn’t about the best interests of British Columbians, it was about getting a project past the point of no return.” He approved the Site C Dam project anyway. In so doing, he joined the Canadian Government in sidestepping what may turn out to be the most crucial point in this debate. Should the BC & Canadian governments honour treaties?
With the election approaching, the Pembina Institute brought together prominent candidates from B.C.’s three major political parties to debate the province’s road to a more planet friendly future. Despite the underlying tension, everyone was polite. There was laughter. Yet Pembina’s clean energy & climate debate illustrated very “alternate” realities.
While the NDP and Liberal parties battle it out throughout most of the province, on Vancouver Island the chief contenders in this election are the Greens and NDP. Their support is not uniform. Visiting Salt Spring Island a few days ago, I was struck by the overwhelming number of Green party lawn placards. There was more of a three party mix as I drove northwards along the coastal highway. By the time I reached Courtenay/Comox, there were even Conservative signs. A very different scenario emerged in Campbell River. One party’s placcards dominated the political lawnspace. I counted 24 signs bearing the incumbant NDP MLA, Claire Trevena’s name. The remaining five advertised the Liberal challenger in North Island riding, Dallas Smith.
The BC Liberals portray themselves as the party that brings economic stability and creates jobs. They claim the BC NDP and Green Party would introduce “reckless spending, higher taxes, and bigger government.” But, based on their past performance, are the BC Liberals better fiscal managers than the NDP?
Everyone knows that B.C. Ferries is losing money. According to their press release last November, the supposedly “publicly owned company” was $1.2 billion in debt. Yet this morning Claire Trevena, the NDP critic for transportation, announced that an NDP Government would reduce some ferry fares.