Friday, August 24, 2012

If Bill Bennett is standing shoulder to shoulder with her on that fence, it must be quite the balancing act

I am disappointed to see BC Liberal MLA Bill Bennett not only deliberately misleading the people of his region, but elsewhere across the province, with regards to BC Conservative policy on pipelines and the environment (MLA, premier stand 'shoulder to shoulder' on pipeline issue).

In his article, posted in the Kootenay News Advertiser, he states, and I quote:
… the NDP categorically oppose pipelines, without even wanting to know the results of an environmental assessment or potential benefits to tax payers. The BC Conservatives categorically support pipelines, no matter the environmental risk and cost and no matter whether BC receives any benefits.”

I am sure he is very well aware that BC Conservative Party policy does not in any way have blanket support of pipelines, and has always stated that any resource development must pass thorough environmental reviews, be of benefit to the province, and have direct benefit to the people within the region of proposed development.

For those interested, here is the text of ARTICLE 7: “Environment” (BC Conservative Policy document)

Recognizing BC’s diverse environmental assets are the envy of much of the world and should be preserved and protected and environmental and fiscal sustainability and optimization should be the hallmark of a government’s policy. To ensure this, our government, when elected, will work with the public, landowners, involved business interests and other stakeholder groups.

The BC Conservative Party supports conserving British Columbia’s environment by:
  • Balancing economic development opportunities with environmental protection.
  • Encouraging conservation of water taken from lakes or rivers for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes.
  • Imposing strict regulation of toxic effluents produced by industry.
  • Recognizing the value of parks to society and protect these areas from intrusive activities while improving access for all British Columbians.
  • Supporting the use of a single, joint Federal and Provincial Environmental review process when appropriate.
  • Recognizing the importance of hunters and fishers to British Columbia’s tourism and conservation, we will undertake to protect hunters and fisher’s rights, while at the same time ensuring British Columbia’s fish and wildlife populations are managed in a sustainable manner.
  • In all ways carry out responsible, fact-based stewardship of the environment. The government will base its decisions on the best available scientific data.
And as BC Conservative Party Policy Chair, Al Seibring stated to Bill Bennett:
Further to this our leader, John Cummins, released a statement BEFORE Premier Clark issued her list of conditions for Enbridge, in which he clearly spelled out two fundamental conditions the line would have to meet before we would support its construction:
1) The line has to pass the environmental assessment process, and satisfy any conditions imposed on it by the assessment conclusions.
2) British Columbians should be compensated for having Western Canadian oil cross our Province.

Premier Clark however, has waffled back and forth on this issue, just as she has done over other major concerns the people of BC have.

It is clear to most people that Premier Christy Clark sits on the fence, while she waits to see which way the wind blows. If Bill Bennett is standing shoulder to shoulder with her on that fence, it must be quite the balancing act.

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops, with the thoughts of one conservative.
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