‘If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything’ as the old phrase goes. If you are a Green Party member, or perhaps someone who voted for Andrew Weaver in the last election, you are one of many who are asking themselves that very same question.
We are now well into in the second year of the NDP/Green Party government. And while Premier John Horgan talks confidently as though he enjoys the backing of a strong majority, the fact remains he reigns over a fragile and fractured minority parliament. The power-sharing agreement signed between Horgan and Weaver immediately following the last provincial election certainly catapulted the two leaders into the driver’s seat, but it remains to be seen how long their ‘confidence agreement’ can withstand the changing currents of B.C. politics.
Site C was the first major challenge to the NDP/Green Party relationship. When Horgan announced an official review of the project by the BC Utilities Commission (as per the confidence and supply agreement) Weaver triumphantly declared this represented the “first nail in the coffin” of Site C. Yet when push came to shove, Weaver and the Greens had to back down when Horgan gave sombre press conference announcing that Site C would indeed proceed. That was strike one.
The next major crack appeared between the NDP and the Greens when Horgan announced a new tax framework for LNG. Weaver bolted out of the gates by tweeting “If the BC NDP caucus continues the generational sellout embodied in the LNG folly of the BC Liberals, their government will fall.” That was a very big threat at the time, but it appears Weaver and his three-member caucus are prepared to back down once again if the final investment decision is made in the near future confirming construction of the $40 billion LNG Canada plant in Kitimat.
Weaver says it all depends if the NDP can accommodate LNG Canada within the provincial government’s upcoming ‘clean-growth strategy’ expected this fall. Weaver says he wants to see the plan beforehand, but during his doom and gloom speech at the annual gathering of municipalities last week, the Green Party leader said rather than “…giving away the farm in a desperate attempt to land an LNG investment in Kitimat aren’t we doing everything we can to get Tesla to invest in a Giga factory there?
Weaver says B.C. needs to be a leader in clean renewable technologies and immediately stop all fossil fuel projects. His plan is flawed. BC is not the problem, Canada is not the problem! We are leaders! I believe we can be a part of the solution by moving the biggest carbon emitters such as China and India away from coal and onto our cleanest natural gas in the world. We are playing a role in leadership, we can give a hand to these countries as they transition to cleaner technologies. The Tesla plant, Amazon Distribution Centre and iPhone factory slated for Fort Nelson and Fort St John will likely not be happening any time soon – let’s stop with the rhetoric and support our own economy instead.
Member of the Legislative Assembly
Peace River North