B.C. Election: The Liberals have Failed British Columbians on Climate Action

Justin Bige, Contributor

Copy of BurnabyMountainCelebration2014-1

Women hold up signs protesting Kinder Morgan during a celebration on top of Burnaby Mountain in Feb. 2016, a day after courts lifted an improperly placed injunction line before a drill testing site at the foot of the mountain. (Stock File)

This election, the continued exploitation of B.C. land is at stake. From the constant issuing of permits for projects like the Mount Polley mine, Trans Mountain’s pipeline expansion, and the Site C Dam, to the subsequent lack of consultation with First Nations, this election will determine who makes important decisions regarding the environment.

Mount Polley has achieved notoriety as the worst mining disaster in Canada’s many years of colonial occupation. A few years ago it flooded millions of tonnes of tailings into the nearby Quesnel Lake. Just recently, Imperial Metals, which operates the mine in Mount Polley, has been granted permits by the province to continue its work and eject any waste it wishes into the Quesnel Lake.

This corporation has been permitted, without any preventative or restorative obligation, to continue its operation and cause an even larger disaster. The NDP has always been critical of the conduct around Mount Polley, and the Green Party has pledged in its platform to not allow this illicit and irresponsible behaviour to continue by re-establishing environmental assessment.

On Nov. 26 of last year, Justin Trudeau and Christy Clark announced the federal approval of the Trans Mountain/Kinder Morgan pipeline. This happened through the federally mandated and provincially supported National Energy Board, which barred First Nations from its consultation process, under a Liberal government.

Time and time again, the Site C Dam has proved to be a wildly expensive project that First Nations oppose and, due to Treaty 8, should have final say on. If it were to stop now, at least $2 billion could be saved. The energy need projections for Site C that B.C. Hydro has released have proven to be incorrect, and energy needs are lowering at a staggering rate. The taxpayer also loses, as the project will not only drain public dollars but increase hydro bills across the board.

The Liberal Party has made it clear that it cares more about making money than finding alternatives to supporting dying industries. When you go to the polling stations this election, ask yourself which party has the best interest of British Columbians in mind, and be prepared to hold that party accountable for its actions.

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