Liberal publicity stunts do nothing to protect B.C.’s interests
VICTORIA — National progress on energy issues vital to British Columbia was derailed by the Liberals’ desperate publicity stunt at the Council of the Federation, say the New Democrats.
“It’s clear Premier Christy Clark was feeling the heat in the wake of the damning U.S. Transportation Safety Board report into Enbridge’s devastating Kalamazoo River spill and wanted to give the belated impression her government is taking action to protect the interests of British Columbia,” said New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming. “The formal review and approval process is the appropriate forum where the Premier Clark should be defending B.C.'s best interests, rather than a media scrum arising out of a staged derailing of the annual premiers' conference.
“Yet the Liberals relinquished control over the assessment process to the federal government, supporters of Enbridge’s plan.”
The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs has made it clear that they oppose the premier’s offer to lift the moratorium on tanker traffic for a fistful of dollars.
On Monday, the UBCIC and West Coast Environmental Law Association said the B.C. Liberal government should just say no to the project, while the Carrier Sekani, whose members' traditional territory spans roughly 25 per cent of the pipeline route, slammed Premier Clark for "playing The Price is Right" with B.C.'s land and waters.
“The UBCIC are absolutely correct to point out British Columbians aren’t interested in selling out our environment and lifting the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic off our north coast for any amount of cash,” said Fleming.
New Democrat energy critic John Horgan said, “far from standing up for British Columbia, the Liberals’ desperate antics are sidelining progress on energy issues that are of deep importance to our province.”
As an example of the kind of national energy issue being derailed by Premier Clark’s publicity stunts, Horgan pointed out that existing wires limit Alberta's ability to import electricity from B.C., a fact that disadvantages both provinces.
“At the same time that we were spilling water over our dams Albertans were suffering from rolling brownouts,” said Horgan. “If Premier Clark really cared about the interests of British Columbians she would be working with Alberta and the rest of the country to strengthen the grid and find a market for all the private power the Liberals locked us into buying at high rates."
New Democrats pointed out that Premier Clark also recently skipped a western premiers' conference that would have given her the opportunity to raise issues around Enbridge without creating disruptions.
New Democrat leader Adrian Dix is currently touring areas that would be affected by the Enbridge pipeline. New Democrats formally announced their opposition to the NGP in a submission to the Joint Review Panel this April, and will continue their province wide efforts to mobilize British Columbians who are opposed to the pipeline.