Premier Christy Clark repeated her optimism on LNG in the Throne Speech this week and Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald says he finds it “galling” and “an insult to the intelligence of thinking people”.
“It is not a choice between keeping B.C.’s natural gas industry stable or deciding to grow it,” the speech said. “We must begin to export, or the 13,000 people who depend on this industry today will be out of work.”
By focusing on key sectors of the economy and expanding new markets in clean energy and technology with British Columbia’s Asia-Pacific partners, the government has the opportunity to eliminate the operating debt in just four years, paving the path towards a debt- free BC, the government press release said.
“They still talk about a debt free BC and the prosperity fund and there’s no possibility of that happening,” Macdonald said. “This Premier has added more debt than any one premier in BC history. Her intention is to add another $30 billion.
“It galls me that even in politics, where one expects a certain amount of hyperbole, this fantastical notion is still being put forward.
“On LNG it always was made up numbers. 100,000 new jobs is completely made up. It’s simply not reality. No informed person would see that as reasonable.
“So either the leadership doesn’t know any better or they are deliberately misleading the people of British Columbia.”
Macdonald says he saw nothing in the throne speech to provide any relief for families struggling in this particular economic climate.
“An awful lot of B.C. families are finding it awfully tough,” he said. “What’s the government going to do? I don’t see any new ideas. We’ve heard it all before. There is nothing specific that addresses people’s real concerns.”
The throne speech also praised B.C.’s economic performance in relation to Alberta.
“They are saying, look how bad it is in Alberta,” Macdonald said. “Well Alberta doesn’t have MSP payments, ICBC, gas is cheaper. All these little things are taking cash out of people’s pockets. And at the same time we get a tax cut for the riches two per cent. They are not the ones who are struggling.”
During the spring session, government will also focus on building safe, thriving communities, continue to work with the federal government to secure the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, and ensure First Nations are equal partners in B.C.’s growing economy, said the press release.