Herb Pond, BC Liberal candidate, Hondo Arendt, Green Party candidate, Jennifer Rice, NDP candidate for the North Coast.

Herb Pond, BC Liberal candidate, Hondo Arendt, Green Party candidate, Jennifer Rice, NDP candidate for the North Coast.

B.C. Election: Three hard questions — Industry

As the election approaches, the Northern View is asking each of the provincial candidates three questions on a particular subject.

  • Apr. 18, 2017 7:00 p.m.

The election was officially announced on April 11 for the May 9 vote. The Northern View is asking each of the candidates three questions on a particular subject.

Question 1: If no LNG (liquefied natural gas) then what?

Herb Pond, BC Liberal

LNG has huge potential, but we have many other opportunities ahead of us. The real question is, who is best able to capture these opportunities? I’m a two-term mayor with experience in logging, construction, airlines and energy.

Just over a decade ago, we hadn’t moved a single container. I worked hard with the port and other parties to prove the experts wrong and help bring that investment to Prince Rupert. Today, our container port continues to grow.

So whether it’s Altagas, Pembina, Ray-Mont—or any of a dozen other emerging opportunities—we need an MLA who can help land those high-paying jobs to help re-grow a healthy community.

Hondo Arendt, Green Party

The government needs to force business to do more processing in the area where resources originate.  Yes, it may be more profitable, for example, for an individual business person to buy fish locally but have it canned or processed elsewhere. Yes, a company may save cash by shipping raw logs to Asia to be turned into wood products and then shipping those products back to Canada to be sold.  But this kind of economic activity doesn’t make any sense if our goal is to provide jobs and benefits to the larger community. These resources belong to BC, and they should be benefiting British Columbians.  Long distance processing (to take advantage of the cheapest labour available) is also environmentally foolish as it requires the use of huge amounts of fossil fuel to transport the raw resources around the planet.

Jennifer Rice, NDP

Christy Clark and the BC Liberals promised 100,000 LNG jobs but haven’t delivered. They have promoted projects without a guarantee that British Columbians are hired. In their singular focus on LNG projects, they have abandoned our forestry sector and our fisheries but the BC NDP will focus on an economy that is diverse and keeps profits in BC to benefit families here. A diverse economy is a resilient economy and is more able to withstand changes in global energy prices.

Question 2: Should there be more industrial development on the North Coast?

Herb Pond, BC Liberal

I believe in responsible growth. That means industrial development done in a way that protects our air, land, and water and all who share it.

The North Coast was built on high-paying industrial jobs in fishing and fish processing, logging and log processing, and more.

But the world is changing – and we have to adapt.

What remains the same is our work ethic and belief in our shared potential.

Hard working people in Prince Rupert proved what they could do with the container port opportunity. I’ve proven that I can help attract more of those opportunities.

Hondo Arendt, Green Party

Certainly.  The Green Party is frequently simplistically portrayed as being “anti-everything except the environment.”  While we do believe that many political decisions in the past have neglected to consider social and environmental impacts, we know you can’t have a sustainable community that provides health care, education, and other benefits without a strong economy.  We don’t think that we have to sacrifice absolutely everything out of fear of scaring business away (for example, waterfront access that people in the community want and expect), but we certainly support economic development – especially those businesses that provide the maximum benefit to the local area.

Jennifer Rice, NDP

There should be industrial development that makes sense. We can’t put all of our eggs in one basket when it comes to industrial development. I believe that development needs to guarantee local jobs and training opportunities for local people; it needs to see fair profits that will benefit the local community; it needs to respect local First Nations; and it needs to protect our air, land and water.

Question 3: Rupert has historically been a very strong union town, why should a union worker vote for you?

Herb Pond, BC Liberal

Good jobs are union jobs. I’m a former IWA member and IAM shop steward. To this day, I share a bond with city workers from tackling together the worst economic downturn in the City’s history. We saved taxpayers millions while avoiding a single layoff.

While it’s been ten years since the container terminal opened, families still thank me for my part in securing that investment. Those high-paying union jobs have changed hundreds of lives, reunited families, and given people financial freedom.

Those are the results that matter to me, and we need more to continue regrowing a healthy community. I’ve proven that I can help.

Hondo Arendt, Green Party

I believe a union worker should support us for the same reason anyone would support the Green Party – because they like our policies and think it is the right thing to do.  In our political system we often end up turning ourselves into deal-makers and lose sight of the greater good.  Parties will identify their sub-group (businesses, unions, etc.) and promise that once they’re in power things will be better for “our guys.”  I know that it is naïve to believe that partisanship could ever totally disappear from politics and that we will all live together happily in some kind of co-operative paradise.  But I do believe that parties should be more than just a collection of interest groups trying to get power so that government will send the money their way instead of someone else’s way.

Jennifer Rice, NDP

One of the best jobs I had growing up was a union job. I have nothing but respect for the right of unions to collective bargaining. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have shown nothing but disrespect for our rights as workers. I could never support a party that doesn’t respect workers and that is why I am running for the BC NDP – because we won’t violate workers rights – I can guarantee that.

The Northern View

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