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Vaughn Palmer: NDP Leadership Race offers the opportunity to raise the issue of old growth, fracking and LNG

Opinion: John Horgan's pending retirement provides a gateway to challenge his trade-offs on environmental issues.

The LNG Canada construction site, showing construction of an LNG storage tank in the foreground, as of April, 2021.
LNG Construction site in Canada. Foreground, as of April 2021. PNG

Victoria — Prime Minister John Horgan over the phone while deciding whether potential candidates for NDP leadership will perform He has already gone to the party to choose a "climate champion" to replace him.

"It's time for Progressive to organize and elect climate change champions. Climate change champions understand the crisis we are facing and both. We will step up to overcome the challenges in this way. We will respond to the scale of the crisis and invigorate people, "said Ashley Zarbatani, elected chairman of the Party's Standing Committee on Economy and the Environment. say.

"The new B.C. NDP leader will do so when he becomes prime minister." Continued posting her weekend on her Twitter account. "We have declared a state of emergency, set up a climate secretariat at the Prime Minister's Office, and mandate a full-government approach to coping with inter-ministerial actions and crises."

Zarbatani said she was herself. Did not suggest running in. Also, she nominated someone else and did not address the cause.

But like the post from the NDP climate activist, her post is for Hogan's pending retirement to challenge his trade-off on environmental issues. Indicates to provide an entrance.

In calling for her action, Zarbatani said the new leader should:

• “Protect all remaining primeval forests. Prohibit hydraulic fracturing.

•“ Fair transition from oil and gas industry to workers and communities

• “Respect the rights of hereditary wet sweatton chiefs to say“ no ”to the coastal gas link pipeline through their land.

All four calls are in conflict with the stand Hogan took as prime minister.

• The NDP government has postponed logging to a significant portion of the state's remaining primeval forest. However, the government has also postponed the fate of old growth within their traditional territory to indigenous peoples in places like Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island.

• The NDP government has tightened regulations on the use of hydraulic fracturing to inject water and chemicals to release natural gas from shale. Nevertheless, hydraulic fracturing continues to be the main process of most natural gas production in British Columbia.

Rather than phase out natural gas production, the Hogan government approves the development of the Kitimat-based LNG industry in favor of conditions previously offered by British Columbia. Did. Free government. Hogan also supports the construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) feeder pipeline for the Kitimat LNG terminal.

As Prime Minister, he was able to cover internal opposition to his position on these issues. In most cases it is.

But at the NDP Annual Meeting last December, critics managed to get the siding move with opponents of the CGL pipeline, albeit in a roundabout way. The motion cited allegations that the RCMP used "excessive force" in arresting protesters against the construction of a pipeline through the Wet'suwet'en territory. The NDP, committed in BC, "condemns the improper use of force in this protest or other protest."

Elsewhere, the NDP Government's B.C. Police Act provided a gateway to strengthen surveillance of state-funded RCMPs.

"B.C. The NDP urges the state government to ensure that all alleged cases of improper force by police are investigated independently," the motion declared. ..

It was Zarbatany who added her voice to the debate. She was elected to her current post as chairman of the Party's Standing Committee on Economics and the Environment at the same convention. She supported police criticism, but she also declared on social media that the motion was not sufficiently advanced.

"This resolution does not address the core of this issue, which means that our government is not only responsible for its role in deploying RCMP resources for this raid. , Repeatedly infringes the rights of wet "sweat". "No genetic leadership in their untapped territorial pipeline," Zarbatany said.

She gets free, informed consent from indigenous peoples for previously approved projects like CoastalGasLink.

"Our government knows this," continued Zarbatani. Chronic funding shortages and genocide policies.

Unsatisfied with blaming the government for conspiracy, hypocrisy, obfuscation, and the promotion of genocide policies in dealing with indigenous peoples, she pursues "Christy Clark's LNG pipeline." Blowed up the government for.

She accused the party's power brokers of blocking a move that would have added LNG discussions to the convention agenda.

"Members have been trying to discuss LNG for over two years, but we've been blocked every time," writes Zarbatany. "Now we have lost some of the best activists on this issue and are alienating the entire generation of youth who rely on us to deal with climate emergencies."

Not the entire generation of youth. Many of them have other concerns, from childcare to affordable housing, living expenses, and the medical crisis.

Still, some young New Democrats, and older Democrats, will seek a more uncompromising stance on environmental issues than Hogan.

Leadership races offer the opportunity to raise issues such as old growth, hydraulic fracturing, and LNG that have been suppressed in recent party conventions. It is not yet known if the candidates will win the opening and how far they will go.

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