Saturday, February 13, 2016

MLA expands on themes from Legislature speech; calls for apology from Premier Clark

MLA Jennifer Rice is calling for an
apology from Premier Clark for her
comments related to those opposing
LNG development at Lelu Island
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice followed up on her Thursday speech in the Legislature, with a Friday afternoon call for the Premier of British Columbia to apologize to the residents of Northern British Columbia and First Nations.

As we outlined on the blog on Friday, Ms. Rice was one of the first in line last Thursday morning to provide a response to the Liberal Government's speech from the Throne.

With the North Coast MLA outlining a number of areas where she believes the provincial government is not understanding of the needs of the North Coast or the province.

Among her main talking points from that presentation to the Legislature, was her review of the Premier's comments related to those in the province that are in opposition to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project proposed for Lelu Island.

B. C. Premier Christy Clark strikes back at LNG opponents
Expect LNG to remain a B.C. political football
Clark battles 'forces of No' on B. C. LNG project
First Nations chief to Christy Clark: 'Dial down the rhetoric'

It was on the Premier's recent commentary that Ms. Rice was focused on as the first week of the current session of the Legislature came to an end.  In a media release issued Friday afternoon, the MLA once again took issue with the Premier's description of those opposing the province's LNG plans as a "ragtag" group or the "forces of no".

“This was hardly a rag tag group of people ... These are informed indigenous leaders and northerners who understand the risks of industrial development to their region. Their declaration was a powerful statement by people coming together to defend their northern way of life. For the Premier of our province to call them – or any British Columbians, for that matter – ‘rag tag’ is profoundly disrespectful.” -- North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice speaking to the Premier's comments related to opponents of LNG in BC.

Ms. Rice who along with MLA's Robin Austin and Doug Donaldson and MP Nathan Cullen signed the Lelu Island Declaration, also observed that if the Premier is looking to find a path to reconciliation and advance her LNG projects, insulting people might not be the best tactic.

“The path to reconciliation and advancement of LNG projects or any project does not start by labelling a group of citizens with legitimate concerns as ragtag. You advance projects by bringing people together and finding compromises. We all want responsible resource development and shared benefits. The Premier, however, prefers name-calling” “I urge the Premier to apologize to all Northwest B.C. First Nations and residents for her remarks. They have legitimate concerns and they deserve our respect,”

The observations outlined by MLA Rice, were also on the mind of NDP leader John Horgan through the week who like Ms. Rice it would seem, has found that the Premier's approach might make for some political benefit for the opposition in the months to come leading up to next years provincial election.

An excerpt from the full Legislature speech has been provided by the NDP to highlight the focus on the Throne Speech and the Premier's thoughts on LNG opposition in the province.

You can also read the full media release from Ms. Rice's office here.

For more items related to developments at the Legislature see our archive page here.

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