LNG in BC: It’s here.

LNG in BC: It’s here.

As a councillor and then as Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation, I worked for years with my community to achieve the potential of LNG in British Columbia.

We recognized this potential because we lived it. We knew that BC is uniquely placed to provide natural gas to Asia as a cleaner energy source. And the prosperity that came with the early stages of LNG preparatory work transformed our community – providing jobs, dignity, and a bright future for our people.

Thankfully, we had a strong partner in the BC Liberal government. They also recognized how LNG could transform British Columbia for the better, and they worked tirelessly to make it happen.

This video is the story of how we got it done.

There were many who said it couldn’t be done.

As a member of a First Nation band and as a leader, I had to hear and read statements made by politicians who opposed LNG outright, even though they knew that this opportunity would help solve so many issues, including Indigenous poverty and climate change.

John Horgan called LNG “an industry that’s going nowhere”.

George Heyman, now the NDP environment minister, referred to LNG as “pixie dust”, and education minister Rob Fleming called it “pie in the sky”.

Michelle Mungall, now the NDP energy minister, said LNG “ain’t good for anybody in this province.”

Today, with the announcement of a final investment decision to build the Kitimat LNG project in my home community, the NDP will try to take credit for what is the biggest private sector investment ever made in British Columbia.

But you and I know that we wouldn’t be here today without the dedication of the communities that supported LNG, the BC Liberal team, and everyone who voted and volunteered for us along the way.

Thank you for doing your part. Let’s share this moment with pride.

Ellis Ross
BC Liberal MLA for Skeena

BC Liberals call on Elections BC to clarify referendum ballot

BC Liberals call on Elections BC to clarify referendum ballot

The BC Liberal Party is calling on Elections BC to add clearer instructions to the ballot in the upcoming referendum on proportional representation.

British Columbians who support the stability and accountability of our current First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) democracy have the right to vote only on Question 1 of the referendum, and choose not to express a preference on the models of proportional representation proposed in Question 2. They deserve clear instructions, right on the ballot.

Read the letter from party president Don Silversides below:

*****************

Anton Boegman
Chief Electoral Officer
Elections BC
PO Box 9275 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9J6

September 25, 2018

Dear Mr. Boegman:

RE: 2018 Referendum on Proportional Representation – Ballot Instructions

I am writing on behalf of the BC Liberal Party to express a concern regarding the upcoming referendum. That is the instructions to be provided to voters on the ballot.

First of all, I want to acknowledge the position in which Elections BC has been placed by the current government’s approach to the referendum. The delay in revealing the rules of the campaign, the process that produced those rules, and the confusing question and structure on the ballot have made your task all the more challenging.

We understand that voters who vote only on Question 1 will have their ballots considered valid. Voters may legitimately express no preference on the models of proportional representation listed under Question 2.

We submit that this should be made clear on the ballot itself. The existing version of the ballot available on the Elections BC website already includes some instructions for completion of the ballot. This additional instruction would be a straightforward and helpful addition. It could appear as follows:

You may vote on Question 1 and choose not to express your preference on Question 2.

We are hearing from many British Columbians who support the stability and accountability of the current first-past-the-post system that they plan to vote only on the first question. We believe they deserve clear and unmistakable instructions on the ballot that they have this right.

It is rapidly becoming clear that awareness of the referendum among voters is extremely low, and the time to inform British Columbians about the choice they face is rapidly running short. Adding clarity regarding that choice to the ballot instructions as we are requesting is a simple step Elections BC can take to make this referendum a little clearer, fairer, and more accessible.

Sincerely,
Don Silversides, Q.C.
President

Happy National Indigenous People’s Day!

Happy National Indigenous People’s Day!

It was over twenty years ago that the first National Indigenous People’s Day was held. Today, we continue that tradition by recognizing and celebrating the rich cultures and contributions of First Nations, the Inuit, and the Métis Nation across British Columbia and Canada.

This day has a great cultural significance for many Indigenous peoples because it also marks the Summer Solstice. Indigenous communities across British Columbia and Canada will gather to celebrate the beginning of the traditional summer harvest season and reflect on their culture, heritage, and history.

If you attended an event in your area, you can share your pictures and stories with the BC Liberal Indigenous Network using the hashtag #BCLPIN on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BCLPIN

On behalf of the BC Liberal Party, I wish everyone a Happy National Indigenous People’s Day.

Solomon Reece

President, BC Liberal Indigenous Network

Statement from Andrew Wilkinson on Leonard Krog’s Nanaimo mayoral announcement

On behalf of the BC Liberal caucus, I thank Leonard Krog for his service to BC and wish him the best in his run for Mayor. It’s certainly surprising that a capable and long-serving NDP MLA would run for municipal office rather than support the direction and vision of an NDP government only a year into their mandate.

Mr. Krog and Premier Horgan know what’s at stake. With an unstable minority government propped up by three Green MLAs in the legislature, the implications of this by-election are significant for the entire province.

The people of Nanaimo deserve strong representation in Victoria –  an effective, full time, active and dedicated MLA as they continue to grow, diversify and strengthen their community.

We look forward to offering the voters of Nanaimo a compelling choice in the by-election, whenever it comes.

Andrew Wilkinson

Leader of the BC Liberal Party

Keith Baldrey: The NDP wants to let unelected experts, not voters, determine new voting system

The NDP/Green party alliance that governs B.C. wants to change the system of how we elect governments in this province, but they don’t want the voters to pick an alternative to the one we use currently.

Rather, they want to allow unelected, so-called “experts” of the NDP government’s own choosing (presumably with input and signoff from the Green party caucus members) to determine the actual model of proportional representation (PR) should voters reject the current first-past-the-post model. 

In other words, the NDP and Greens are advocating that a sitting government be able to determine a new system of voting, likely to ensure it remains in power.

This startling and breathtaking proposal to eliminate one of the tenets of basic democracy – that voters decide the voting system – is contained in a little-noticed document dated Feb. 28 and entitled the “Joint Submission to the How We Vote Engagement Process” from the NDP and Green Party caucuses.

This process was overseen by Attorney-General David Eby, who claims to be neutral on the whole referendum process, but his past comments show him to be a strong supporter of moving to some kind of PR model.

This fall, there will be a referendum on whether to keep the current first-past-the-post system or switch to a proportional representation model.

So far, the NDP government has not said what the question will look like, but if the NDP caucus’ view is anything to go by, look out.

The NDP and Green Party recommend there be a single question on this fall’s referendum ballot, one that asks voters whether they want to stick to the FPTP system or if they wish to “support moving to a system of proportional representation.”

In addition, if there is a second question, the two caucuses say it should be a question “on the values” that should be included in a new system “as opposed to a question on specific systems.”

However, there are many kinds of proportional representation models, with the single-transferable vote (STV) and mixed-member PR (MMP) systems two of the more commonly used ones, and there are others.

Supporters of one PR model can be vehement opponents of another model. They can be obsessive and domineering in their insistence on a particular model (if you don’t believe me, just check out Twitter).

Yet, the NDP-Green caucuses do not advocate letting voters choose a specific model. Rather, they favour farming the actual details of how we elect governments to a “transparent and independent advisory board of trusted experts and diverse citizen representatives to provide recommendations.”

That is quite a mouthful, but it fits with two political parties that love expert-driven reviews of all kinds of things. 

Those recommendations would be for some kind of “made-in-B.C. system of proportional representation” and they would be presented to the B.C. attorney-general and made public.

Essentially, the NDP-Green alliance is proposing to allow unelected “experts” of the NDP government’s own choosing to help set the rules for how the NDP government can be re-elected, with the NDP cabinet having the final say.

One has to wonder whether the two caucuses have someone like Vladimir Putin on speed-dial. 

The caucuses’ submission is rather breathtaking in its brazen assault on fundamental democratic values. 

In addition, it arrogantly suggests that hand-picked “experts” know so much more than the average voter, and can be trusted to do the proper thing (as long as it leads to more New Democrats and Green candidates being elected). 

This is the nanny state approach to governing gone rogue.

Whether we switch to proportional representation is one thing. Letting a government set the rules on how it is or is not elected is quite another.

The NDP government has already been accused of stacking the deck to ensure the referendum defeats the current system. It is being secretive about the process, and an online survey designed to weigh public views on voting system was heavily skewed to ensure there was ample pro-PR feedback.

Now it appears the government caucus – in collusion with the tiny Green caucus – wants to ensure the fix is in come the next election as well.

 

Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global BC

Keith.Baldrey@globalnews.ca

ANALYSIS: The NDP wants to let unelected experts, not voters, determine new voting system

Gordon Clark: Eby’s ‘security concerns’ are an insult to his constituents

Gutless.

That seems to be the prevailing public sentiment concerning Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby and his decision to cancel a public meeting about the NDP’s despicable “school” surtax on homes over $3 million because of “safety concerns.” It’s a well-deserved denunciation, especially since Eby’s entire career, if one can call it that, has been dedicated to protesting one thing after another.

Eby and his buddies are trying to sell the notion that it was irresponsible of Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to urge citizens to attend the event, which Eby had attempted to control by issuing a limited number tickets and framing it as a “discussion” between those opposed to the tax and its advocates.

Yeah, nice try, but politics doesn’t work like that. Citizens, especially those hurt by the NDP’s bogus “school” surtax — and all the other envy taxes the NDP hopes to employ to expropriate hard-earned property wealth from British Columbians — won’t be stage managed.

They are pissed off, and for good reason. They already pay staggering levels of tax, often from pensions, and the NDP is changing the rules on them in going after their main assets, acquired through great effort over long careers.

In claiming “safety concerns,” Eby not only comes across as disingenuous, but as a fool. Clearly, the meeting was cancelled because he didn’t want to end up on the news being berated by a large crowd of angry grey hairs. To suggest his constituents represent a “security” threat is beyond bizarre. Those folks might be angry, but the odds of some septuagenarian from Point Grey taking a swing at Eby is, well, do I really need to finish that sentence?

If Eby is truly frightened to face his almost exclusively well-educated, professional-class and retired constituents, he should find another line of work. Frankly, there’s a high chance he will have to anyway after the next election. Does he think he would have been elected last year if he’d run on bringing in these taxes?

But there is something else about Eby’s “security concerns” comment that is more sinister, reflecting an ugly habit of the NDP and others on the left (although some on the right also do it) to manipulate language for political ends with little regard for truth. We can — and should — laugh at Eby’s ridiculous security comment, but it is also a not-too-subtle defamation of his critics in implying they would resort to violence.

This happens frequently on university campuses when controversial figures such as University of Toronto psychology professor and best-selling author Jordan Peterson are invited to speak. Activists, usually from the left, threaten violence and events get cancelled for “security concerns” by cowardly university officials with a shockingly low commitment to free speech.

I’ve noticed the Horgan government frequently manipulates language. The “school tax” is clearly a wealth tax. In justifying its new and additional property taxes in ads, the NDP goes on about “foreign investors” and “speculators” in blaming — as others have more terrifyingly through history — outsider scapegoats for our pricey housing. Turns out, “foreign investors” are a relatively small part of the market (and we invited them to come and invest here) and the “speculators” are largely Canadians who have often owned B.C. properties for decades. Worse, the NDP is doing almost nothing to address the real cause — low supply.

What about the language the NDP uses in justifying its new law to kill private health care, claiming it was to “protect” British Columbians? Setting aside their disrespect for the court in bringing in the new law while in the middle of a lawsuit on the matter, the NDP is actually trying to protect the party’s biggest sacred cow — socialized medicine — not patients.

The NDP would rather have people wait in agony for months or years for joint surgery slowly rationed out by public officials than let them pay for private care that would increase the number of surgeries completed each year in a mixed medical system found everywhere else in the developed world.

How about Premier John Horgan dismissing the Kinder Morgan pipeline as in the interest of “Texas boardrooms?” I don’t know what NDP backroom bozo came up with that talking point, but the pipeline actually means thousands of jobs, billions in taxes for Canadians and lower gas prices, not to mention that many Canadians, including the pension funds millions of us rely on, are invested in the company.

NDP politicians can play word games and political spin all they want, but voters aren’t stupid, as Eby is learning. They see through it.

Gordon Clark is a columnist and editorial pages editor for The Province.

http://theprovince.com/opinion/columnists/gordon-clark-ebys-security-concerns-are-an-insult-to-his-constituents