"The projected growth of fracking means we must strengthen public accountability and ensure that water resources and other environmental values are not ignored. It is time for the Liberals to act."
He and NDP environment critic Rob Fleming introduced the NDP's proposals to maintain sustainability in the natural gas industry. The first suggestion is to appoint an expert panel to conduct a public review, including input from First Nations, local communities, industry, environmental groups and residents.
Second, they propose changes to protect B.C.'s water resources. Those include bring licensing authorities together, improving practices of water mapping, monitoring and public reports, as well as stopping the Oil and Gas Commission from giving away water permits. Next, they advise extending funding for the Farmers' Advocate Office and lastly, they suggest taking a look at B.C.'s Climate Action Plan and including proposed gas development expansions.
Horgan emphasizes the importance of stronger actions on environmental protection as something that should be a priority for the province.
"If the Liberals want long-term, sustainable economic growth and real jobs for B.C. families, they must take responsible actions to satisfy a number of serious concerns including the effect of industrial expansion on greenhouse gas emissions, the interests of communities, industry and First Nations, and the long term costs to our province."
Horgan recently toured the Northeast, with stops in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.