Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dan Miller makes the case for a resource driven British Columbia

Former NDP Premier and one time North Coast MLA Dan Miller has offered up a wide range of discussion points for consideration when it comes to the importance of the resource sector to the province.

In an Op Ed piece for the Vancouver  Province over the weekend, Mr. Miller outlined a number of the contradictions in the arguments of those who are opposed to the extraction and transportation of the provinces resources, whether it be oil, gas, minerals or forest products.

He calls out politicians such as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who recently led the charge  on the lower mainland against the transportation of coal through his community.

As Mr. Miller points out, the irony of the Mayor's attempts to limit those shipments out of Vancouver ports is rather glaring, coming as it does at the same time as that city is making a request for money from higher levels of government, seeking funding for a transit corridor in the city, an amount that could reach one billion dollars.

As Mr. Miller points out, where exactly does Mr. Robertson believe that kind of money for infrastructure projects might come from?

That is a legitimate question and one that perhaps might resonate around the old council table at which Mr. Miller once sat.

In recent years in Prince Rupert, the councillors of the current council have at times expressed their thoughts on industrial development in this region. Making their views and wishes known to proponents of a number of proposed projects on the North Coast.

As well as the comments directed to municipal politicians, Mr. Miller offers up much the same argument towards some of the membership of the BCTF. Where the social activist side of the Teachers' Federation has taken on such projects as coal shipments and pipeline development to name a few.

Framed amid the current labour negotiations between the Teachers and the government, Mr. Miller observes how the BCTF leadership continues to campaign against a resource sector that helps to pay their wages.

When it comes to the position on resources of both the urban politicians and teachers' union, Mr. Miller observes how it continues to be a case of wanting their cake and eating it too.

You can review the full editorial page contribution here.

The former Premier recently became involved with the group Resource Works, an organization that highlights the importance of the resource sector to the province. He serves as a member of their Advisory Council.

His thoughts on the nature of resource development would appear to be somewhat different from those of the current  MLA for the North Coast.  Who may be sitting in the same Legislature as our former Premier, but on many issues of resource development seems about as far away from his position as a politician might get.

It would be rather interesting for those of the region to hear what North Coast  MLA Jennifer Rice might have to say about what the highly respected former city councillor, MLA and Premier has observed on the issues.

His contribution to the oped piece provides an interesting examination of the current split among the members of the party that he once led and the riding he once represented.  A chasm which features a vocal portion of the current contingent of NDP's clearly not on the same page as their former leader.

You can find more items of interest out of Victoria from our Legislature archive.

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