Sunday, July 28, 2013

MLA's week: July 22-25, 2013

A snapshot of some of the talking points from the North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice during this week's proceedings of the Legislature.

For the final week of the summer session, the North Coast MLA had LNG development and health items on her talking points list for the Legislature this week.

Monday, MLA Rice reviewed some of her concerns over the nature of LNG development on the north coast, drawing comparisons to what she suggests was a flawed plan in Australia, which she believes is a path that the BC Liberals are taking regarding North Coast development.  We reviewed the day in the Legislature in more detail here, the key points of her presentation can be found below.

The bulk of her review of Monday, was based on the theme of more sustainable practices in building communities and planning for future growth as well as addressing the issue of climate change.

"In Australia three LNG plants were constructed by three different companies right beside each other. This has proven inefficient. Here in B.C. it appears we, too, similarly are going down this path. If we truly believe in sustainable natural resource development, we need to examine cumulative impacts of multiple developments. Land and marine use planning is critical to managing the sustainability of resources. That also means considering ecosystem and social values and not just gross domestic product values." -- MLA Jennifer Rice, speaking on LNG development in the Legislature on Monday

You can review her entire speech to the legislature from the Legislature Blues it starts at the 1115 mark on the right hand side.  You can view the presentation from the July 22nd morning session Video Archive at the 11:20 mark on the clock at bottom right.

On Wednesday, MLA Rice had an extended line of questioning for the Government's Health Minister Terry Lake, covering a wide range of topics on health items, from the number of doctor's in some communities, to pharma care issues and other topics of concern on the health file.

During the course of that discussion, she also tied in the proposed LNG development in the region, to issues of health care and infrastructure concerns on the North Coast. We offered up a more concise review of that twenty minute or so exchange here, the synopsis of the day's key discussion points can be found below.

While I recognize that this assessment was started before the government began promoting LNG in earnest, I was wondering if thoughts have been given to a similar assessment on how multiple LNG plants, as well as other expanded industrial activity, would affect the physical and the social health of the residents of northwest British Columbia. ...  I've had many people concerned about just the impacts of increasing industrial development in the northwest, particularly in Prince Rupert and Kitimat. I'm curious to know…. Do you think there might be a community outreach or similar outreach to that done in the northeast on the concerns of residents? Or would that fall under the Ministry of Environment, under environmental assessment? -- MLA Rice, at the Legislature on Wednesday

The MLA also touched on an issue close to the heart of her previous colleagues at Prince Rupert City Hall, seeking further information regarding the pressures of industrial development on local health systems and infrastructures. As we've outlined on the blog in the past, the growing file of Industrial issues is weighing heavily on the minds of Prince Rupert City Council, a theme that the MLA brought to the Legislature on Wednesday

Again, similarly, looking at the pressures from industrial development in the northwest, I'm curious to know if there will be any study or analysis done on the pressures on the health system, specifically — on hospitals, on health care providers — because of the influx of people. For example, in Prince Rupert, they're looking at building a camp for 3,000 people. I know, as a former city councillor, that the city is struggling to deal with current infrastructure issues as it is, let alone having an influx of that kind of population. -- MLA Rice, Wednesday at the legislature, speaking on issues of infrastructure challenges from increased industrial development

You can review her entire presentation from the Legislature Blues it starts just before the 1525 mark on the right hand side. You can review the video presentation from the July 24 afternoon session Video archive at the 15:25 mark on the clock bottom right.

With the end of the Thursday session, the summer session of the Legislature has now come to a close. The Legislature not expected to be in session again until the fall, or perhaps even the winter, depending on the Government's plans.

For the MLA and her NDP associates in the Legislature (and the Party), the months ahead offer up some time for reflection on the path the party wishes to take and if Adrian Dix, the current leader will remain in his post heading into that fall or winter session.

CBC-- B. C. Legislature wraps summer session as NDP contemplates future
Vancouver Province-- Legislature wraps as B. C. NDP looks to rebuild after devastating election loss
The Tyee-- Five Ways the BC NDP can Re-invent itself

You can review our past weekly reviews from our Legislature archive page.

There is more background on the North Coast MLA available from our Legislature home page.

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