Vancouver MLA George Heyman dispels doubts about B.C. NDP position versus Kinder Morgan pipeline

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      On the day Ottawa announced approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the lone Green MLA in B.C. issued a fundraising plea.

      Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist and now representative for Oak Bay – Gordon Head, noted on November 29 that the B.C. Green Party is the “only party that has offered a consistent, principled position” on the Kinder Morgan project.

      Weaver stated that as far as Christy Clark goes, the B.C. Liberal premier Clark has been “hedging her bets for years, appearing ready to approve the pipeline as soon as it is politically expedient”.

      Weaver also took aim at the leader of the B.C. NDP.

      “John Horgan has been both open to and opposed to the pipeline as recently as two months ago,” Weaver noted.

      Weaver was apparently referring to what the NDP leader told reporters at the provincial legislature in Victoria in September.

      Horgan was quoted as having said, “I find it difficult to see how making Vancouver an export terminal for oil is in the interest of B.C. But I can be persuaded.”

      If there are doubts about where the B.C. NDP stands on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, the party’s spokesperson for environment, green economy and technology wants to put all those to rest.

      “We will do everything we can to stop it,” George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview, told the Straight in a phone interview.

      Kinder Morgan expects to begin construction work in September 2017 to expand its 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Strathcona near Edmonton in Alberta to its Burrard Inlet marine terminal in Burnaby.

      A B.C. provincial election is coming in May 2017, giving the B.C. NDP a chance to form government.

      Asked if May 2017 is too late to stop the project, Heyman responded: “We will have to look at what legal means are available. But there’s court cases challenging Kinder Morgan now. There’s First Nations court cases. There’s environmental court cases. There may be permitting issues that will be reviewed by municipalities, and could possibly be reviewed by the provincial govt.”

      “We will look at every means available, and we’ll do whatever we can,” Heyman said. “We know this project is a terrible one for British Columbia. We know British Columbians want us to defend our coast.”

      Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, a former colleague of Horgan in the staff of the B.C. NDP government during the 1990s, was in Vancouver on December 5 and December 6 to sell the Kinder Morgan project.

      Notley and Horgan met over dinner on December 5, and the B.C. NDP leader was reported saying that he wasn’t convinced about the pipeline.

      On December 6, Weaver of the B.C. Greens issued a statement blasting Clark and Horgan over their “lack of response” to the Notley visit.

      “Premier Christy Clark was completely absent while a Premier of another province appeared on numerous TV and radio shows and made unsupported claims about the pipeline. The evidence clearly shows us that we are entirely unprepared to deal with an oil spill and yet our Premier had nothing to say,” Weaver stated.

      As for the B.C. NDP leader, Weaver noted: “John Horgan, on the other hand, held a closed-door meeting with Premier Notley and allowed her to do the talking for him. At a time when British Columbians have made it clear that they want to be included in the conversation, Horgan has made it clear that he doesn’t want to have the actual conversation in public.”