B.C. NDP not discussing Albert Gerow and Enbridge, MLA says

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New Democrats aren’t having a conversation about Albert Gerow’s endorsement of exploration work for the Northern Gateway pipeline, according to B.C. NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.

Gerow is the husband of Victoria–Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, a former leader of the NDP, which opposes the oil pipeline project.

“That conversation is not there. Our conversation is about how do you take on the government,” Chandra Herbert told the Straight in a phone interview on February 6.

Last year, as chief of the Burns Lake Band, Gerow backed an application by Northern Gateway proponent Enbridge Inc. for temporary-use permits to undertake drilling and surveys.

“We’re not looking at an individual band or an individual person,” Chandra Herbert said.

B.C. Green interim leader Adam Olsen suggested that there must have been some “discomfort” among New Democrats over Gerow supporting exploration activities for the pipeline. However, the Tsartlip First Nation member said that Greens aren’t going to push the NDP to talk about this.

“It is their business to have the discussion, whether they see fit or not. It is what it is,” Olsen told the Straight in a phone interview.

Gerow stepped down as Burns Lake Band chief on December 31, 2013, before the end of his term.

On February 11, a by-election was under way for a new band leader. Pauline Goertzen, a Caucasian woman, and Wesley Sam, a former band councillor allied with Gerow, were running for the position.

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