B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver agreed to support Premier John Horgan’s NDP government last summer. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. VIEWS: LNG won’t bring John Horgan’s NDP down

Green leader Andrew Weaver’s Donald Trump-like Twitter tirade is just for show

Premier John Horgan’s off to Asia for his first trade mission this week, to carry on the B.C. Liberal government’s effort to promote B.C. tourist destinations, lumber and natural gas.

As Horgan and his team boarded a plane to head for China, South Korea and Japan, the latest threat of the minority NDP government’s junior partner was ringing in their ears.

“Lest there be any doubt, let me be perfectly clear,” B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver announced in a Donald Trump-style Twitter message last week. “NDP government will fall in non-confidence if after all that has happened it continues to pursue LNG folly.”

For further Trumpian emphasis, Weaver added a hashtag, #LineInTheSand. He returned to Twitter on Friday to pronounce that judging from his email, “many, many thousands” of B.C. NDP voters feel “betrayed” by Horgan’s plan to meet with liquefied natural gas investors in Asia.

That’s a lot of emails from people who supposedly voted for the NDP last year because they believed Horgan’s team opposed the export of LNG. They don’t, at least since the energy-savvy Horgan took over as party leader in 2014.

Yes, the NDP voted against a generous corporate tax structure put together by Christy Clark, Rich Coleman and the rest of the B.C. Liberal government that worked tirelessly to get the industry off the ground. It was seldom reported by city media, but Horgan said it repeatedly at the time: they were not voting against an LNG industry, only the terms of selling the resource offshore.

Yes, Horgan repeated time and time again that he wanted a scientific review of hydraulic fracturing, the deep shale gas extraction technique developed in Texas and used safely in B.C. for 50 years. He’ll go ahead with that, but as with Site C, when the study is done it will confirm as many other studies have that shale gas wells, like hydro dams, are proven technologies with enormous benefits.

Yes, after forming a minority government, Horgan gleefully followed through with this campaign promise to empty Clark’s LNG “fantasy fund” and use it to pay for cancelling Metro Vancouver bridge tolls for the next couple of years. In 2016, Clark directed then-finance minister Mike de Jong to take $100 million out of a growing surplus from your provincial tax payments, to create a long-promised LNG “prosperity fund,” before B.C. had a shovel in the ground for a large-scale LNG plant or related pipeline.

That pre-election stunt was a sequel to Clark’s biggest-ever promise, in the 2013 election, that the LNG industry was going to pay off the province’s debt.

Of course Weaver’s latest threat is also a stunt, like his switch from supporting to opposing the Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern B.C. Once again, he is throwing a big chunk of raw tofu to his political base, to prevent himself from being buried under hurled organic carrots from the root cellars of Vancouver Island.

Weaver cites B.C.’s greenhouse gas emission targets, which would never be met if large-scale plants burned gas to compress and cool LNG for shipping in tankers. Those targets won’t be met anyway, as the latest emissions data released in December show. Greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise with population growth, dipping only during the harsh recession of 2008-09, despite the carbon tax we’ve been paying in the past decade.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell during the same period because they substituted shale gas for coal. They’ve converted former LNG import terminals to export, and like Clark, Horgan has understood this.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Four Nanaimo athletes make Team B.C. for Canada Winter Games

Judo, synchronized swimming and boxing athletes qualify for games in Red Deer, Alta.

Buccaneers break a third-period tie to beat Generals

Nanaimo doubled up Oceanside 2-1 on Sunday in VIJHL action

100 squares of artwork will be exhibited at Gabriola show

More than 90 artists submitted 12-by-12 inch pieces to Squared Art Show starting Feb. 22

Nanaimo students win award for space solutions project

Students wait to see if they will go to California on the strength of their project

Web poll: What’s the right weekend to have Family Day?

Do you prefer this new Family Day weekend, or how it was before?

Nanaimo students win award for space solutions project

Students wait to see if they will go to California on the strength of their project

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Kidney Foundation trying to keep patients warm this winter

Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Warm the Sole campaign takes chill off dialysis treatments

Man arrested following 2016 drive-by shooting in Nanaimo found guilty

Armaan Singh Chandi guilty of prohibited firearm use with intention of committing murder

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read