VICTORIA, B.C. - Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen responded to the NDP minority government’s announcement that it is taking action to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from proceeding.
“I am very pleased by the government’s announcement today,” said Weaver. “Employing every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline is a key commitment in our Confidence and Supply Agreement. I applaud Premier Horgan’s strong leadership on this issue and his government’s demonstration that it intends to make good on this crucial promise.
“In the B.C. Green caucus’ view the National Energy Board process that led to this project’s approval was profoundly flawed. Numerous questions remain unanswered or were simply dismissed. To cite one example, the entire marine spill response was predicated on the existence of 20 hours of sunlight. There is no place south of Tuktoyaktuk that has that much sunlight on any day of the year.
“Government has a responsibility to base major decisions affecting the lives and livelihood of so many people on sound evidence, and in the case of TransMountain that standard was not met. In fact, expert panels from both the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada have highlighted the fact that there would be be little ability to clean up a diluted bitumen spill in the coastal environment.
“B.C.’s future lies in innovative growth areas like clean tech and the value-added resource sector, not the sunset fossil fuel industry of the last century. B.C. has everything it needs to be a leader in these areas - it is simply a matter of priorities. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the house to develop good public policy that will ensure B.C.’s prosperity for generations to come.”
Weaver was the only MLA in the B.C. Legislature that acted as an intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings on the TransMountain pipeline expansion project. Adam Olsen, now MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, was also an intervenor.
“It is time to change the relationship with First Nations in British Columbia and this new minority government has a chance to do things differently when it comes to working with First Nations on projects that impact their communities,” said Olsen, who is a member of the Tsartlip First Nation.
“A foundational piece of the agreement between our two caucuses is our mutual support of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls-to-action and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court Decision. Indigenous rights and interests are clearly an important part of the Provincial and National interest and I am proud that our Provincial government is recognizing that. Together we can build a province where the government is finally accountable to all of the people it serves.”