Here are some reasons why the B.C. NDP needs to watch its back

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      This morning, I reflected on how frustrating it must be for some members of the B.C. NDP as they watch their government in action.

      Teachers have learned that Premier John Horgan isn't seriously committed to upsetting the status quo that was established in public education through 16 years of rule by the B.C. Liberals. 

      People who think about the climate every day recognize that this NDP government is thoroughly and utterly committed to supporting the LNG carbon bomb in Kitimat that will rely on fracked natural gas.

      It's also not going to pull out all the stops to try to prevent the Trans Mountain pipeline project from being built, even though its annual downstream emissions will exceed the entire total of greenhouse gases generated each year in B.C.

      Party members who spent decades opposing the Site C hydroelectric dam saw their government give it a green light.

      Horgan committed to this $10.7-billion expenditure over the objections of First Nations in the area. And he did this in the midst of a renewable-energy revolution that has rendered the project even less economically viable.

      Meanwhile, those who cry out for a safe drug supply to stem the hundreds of annual illicit-drug overdose deaths know in their hearts that this premier is going to ignore them.

      He'll also continue ignoring research from B.C.'s top universities, preferring to pander to those who are too ignorant to know what's truly in the public interest.

      Plus, the finance minister, Carole James, isn't prepared to introduce radical changes to the tax system to seriously address income inequality.

      Admittedly, the Horgan government has taken many steps to make life more affordable for average British Columbians. And for that, it should be commended.

      It also implemented long-overdue campaign-finance reforms and appears committed to improving public transit, notwithstanding the financially and environmentally reckless decision to eliminate bridge tolls.

      But surely, government is more than simply a dollars-and-cents proposition, particularly when we're facing an environmental apocalypse in this century.

      Many of the key decision-makers in Victoria were also front and centre in the NDP government of the late 1990s.

      Horgan, his chief of staff Geoff Meggs, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, and Environment and Climate Change Minister George Heyman have demonstrated that on the whole, they're not prepared to seriously rock the boat, especially if it's going to result in criticism from the mainstream media.

      The big question facing progressive voters is if they deserve to be reelected despite their failures around education, climate, and drug overdoses.

      There will be another option for people to park a protest vote. A new party, the B.C. Ecosocialists, includes some former NDP activists on its board.

      It states on its website that it's possible to feed everyone without subjecting them to the humiliation of food banks.

      "We want to better tax rich people and corporations to fund better policies, like building tens of thousands of units of social housing, building new green energy and transportation infrastructure while putting a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure including all LNG," the party proudly declares.

      "By the way, we are anti-sexism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia and against legislated poverty. We believe in returning power and land to Indigenous people. Not to be 'politically correct', but because it’s the right thing to do. The buck of Colonialism stops here."

      It could be an appealing option for those thirsting for dramatic changes as opposed to the B.C. NDP's preference for incremental adjustments.