VICTORIA, B.C. – The BC Green Caucus was looking for more First Nations engagement and a strong definition for “clean energy” in order to pass all of the amendments contained in Bill 17, Clean Energy Amendment Act.
“My colleague MLA Furstenau and I were clear that we would be willing to pass the provisions relating to Burrard Thermal and a clean energy standard, but felt the section on self sufficiency required additional consultation with First Nations and impacted parties,” said B.C. Green Party interim leader Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich-North and the Islands and a member of Tsartlip First Nation.
In the first legislative session after the passage of the Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), this represents an important opportunity to do things differently.
“Many Nations have seized on economic development opportunities linked to clean energy generation, and we feel strongly that they need to be given a clear pathway forward that honours the time and investments that have been made.”
Bill 17 seeks to establish a clean electricity standard for the province and to give BC Hydro greater flexibility to import electricity from other provinces and states. These changes are highlighted by new definitions proposed for “Clean Electricity” and “Clean Resources” but such changes in definition leaves the door wide open for governments to re-interpret what “clean” means, running the risk of exploitation.
“We felt there was a need for a stronger definition of clean electricity and clean resources – an issue we are certain the House could have come to agreement on,” said MLA Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. “We engaged legislative drafters to help draft an amendment that would have strengthened the legislation. Ultimately it is government’s decision whether to call a Bill for debate in the House.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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