Thursday, February 4, 2016

NDP Leader John Horgan becoming a man of letters, opinion and LNG observations

With the BC Legislature winding down the days of its winter break, NDP Leader John Horgan has it seems been keeping busy by firing off guest contributions to the newspapers of British Columbia.

His latest presentation coming this week in the Vancouver Sun, where the Official Opposition Leader notes his concerns with the approach to LNG development by Premier Clark.

In the guest opinion piece, titled B. C. LNG not the 'greenest', Mr. Horgan highlights a number of areas where he believes that the Premier has gotten it all wrong with the LNG in BC strategy.

Among some of the areas he has concerns with:

The province's approach to counting LNG emissions, noting that as he sees it, the recent Liberal review of greenhouse gas emissions highlights the shortfalls of the BC Liberal climate change plan.

From her strategy Horgan suggests that British Columbia's climate change goals have been abandoned.

What he describes as the Premier's attempts to make LNG a political wedge issue, adding that so far this politics first approach hasn't delivered any results from the promise of financial windfall.

You can review the full submission to the Sun here.

Tuesday's column follows Mr. Horgan's previous appearance in mid January on the pages of the Vancouver Sun.

At that time he provided a range of comments on the industrial landscape of the North Coast for columnist Vaughn Palmer. With a good portion of the focus in that article related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project proposed for Lelu Island, which Mr. Horgan called the worst possible place to proceed.

Comments which echo the recent sentiments as outlined by the NDP's Northwest MLA's who provided their support to those opposing the development of the site for LNG.

From some of his observations, it would seem however that the NDP research team might want to update the NDP leaders notes on the North Coast, or ask North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice to give the leader another tour of the area.

One fairly important error to be found in the discussion with Mr. Palmer comes from the leader of the NDP's knowledge of industrial development in the Prince Rupert area.

Among some of his observations for Mr. Palmer,  was the placement of the old Skeena Pulp Mill on Ridley Island, which of course is not the correct location, with Watson Island the home of that particular industrial site and offering up an always fascinating topic that perhaps Mr. Horgan might want to dig into as well.

In the Palmer article, the NDP leader also offered up the suggestion that Petronas/Pacific NorthWest LNG might want to take the  current BG Gas Site on Ridley Island off the hands of Shell, which recently purchased BG Gas and up until today, was in the process of moving forward with its own development in Kitimat.

And while that would seem like a sensible suggestion all things considered, any shift by Petronas to Ridley would probably mean that a brand new Environmental Process would be required, which probably wouldn't be a welcome addition to the Petronas plan.

As we noted in January on the blog, the Malaysian Energy company, having invested much of its money and time on the Lelu Island proposal is more interested in moving forward that timeline sooner rather than later. So the prospect of a brand new environmental process for a new site is something  we imagine which would be a non starter for them.

The Vaughn Palmer article can be examined here.

Mr. Horgan has not been the only member of the NDP to take to the word processor in recent weeks.

In the January 27th edition of the local weekly, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice took to the editorial page to make sure that the Northwest MLA's letter in support of the Lelu Island Declaration made it into the news cycle as well, gaining a guest opinion slot for last week's delivery.

The time for writing letters and submitting opinion pieces however may soon be coming to an end, as the Members of the Legislature are scheduled to return to their duties on February 9th .

With the start of the new Legislature year, new opportunities will be there for Mr. Horgan and his MLA's to pose their questions and make their suggestions in person to the Premier and Liberal government's ministers.

For more items related to news from the Legislature see our archive page here.

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