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Reality Check - Op/Ed from New Democratic Party Opposition
While the premier claims to have taken “the strongest stand of any political leader in the province or in the country on Enbridge,” her constantly evolving position on the pipeline shows otherwise.
In addition to the fact that the B.C. Liberal government's "five conditions" are largely requirements that already exist in law and do little to actually protect B.C.’s interests, the Liberals have been missing in action from the start on this project:
The B.C. Liberal government handed over decision-making power to Ottawa when they signed the 2010 Equivalency Agreement.
Premier Clark and the Liberal government tried for months to avoid taking a stance on the project.
The government missed the deadline to provide evidence to the review panel and fought to keep their own internal assessment of the project a secret.
While both Alberta and the federal government have been full participants in the review process, the B.C. Liberals have even refused to allow their own government experts to act as witnesses.
The Liberals have resorted to untenable claims that they could stop the pipeline after it gets approval by denying provincial permits or withholding electricity.
Unlike the premier’s constantly evolving position on Enbridge, Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats have stood with businesses, First Nations, communities and ordinary citizens in taking a principled, consistent stance against the pipeline and increased tanker traffic on the North Coast.
Adrian Dix has said that if elected, B.C. New Democrats would exercise the right to take back provincial authority from the federal government’s review process and set up a rigorous “made in B.C.” environmental assessment, an approach that would also apply to the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal.
Quote from Rob Fleming, New Democrat environment critic:
“New Democrats have taken a principled stand against the Enbridge pipeline. We will ensure B.C. voices are heard and B.C. interests are protected with a “made in B.C.” environmental assessment. The premier has taken no real substantive action to address the concerns of British Columbians; she continues to refuse to opt out of the equivalency agreement and protect our province's jurisdictional rights.”