Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver listens from his new seat as an independent MLA as interim B.C. Green Party leader Adam Olsen questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 12, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

As the B.C. legislature prepares to resume sitting in June after the disruption caused by COVID-19, former B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has roasted his former party colleagues for caring more about their own re-election prospects than the environment-focused party’s principles.

Weaver has vowed to continue supporting the B.C. NDP minority government since announcing in January he was leaving the B.C. Green Party as well as its leadership. But in a weekend comment on social media, he said that wasn’t the case after Premier John Horgan granted tax concessions for the development of the LNG Canada export project.

“My former colleagues Adam Olsen and Sonia Furstenau were afraid to stand up to the B.C. NDP with regard to the LNG development,” Weaver wrote on Twitter May 23. “I was ready to go to election, but in my opinion, they were more interested in re-election than they were about standing up for B.C. Green principles.”

Weaver was responding to Furstenau’s endorsement of a four-day work week proposal considered by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “This is an absolutely kooky idea,” Weaver told Furstenau, who is seeking the B.C. Green leadership in a contest that has been stalled by the coronavirus pandemic. “It is far more complicated than just a few sound bites and a tweet.”

Weaver led a B.C. Greens protest after Horgan helped secure the LNG Canada and Coastal Gaslink pipeline project by removing an LNG income tax imposed by former premier Christy Clark. Horgan also extended B.C. Hydro’s commercial electricity rate to LNG Canada’s Kitimat-based project and deferred provincial sales tax payment until it begins shipping liquefied natural gas to Asia.

A walkout of all three B.C. Green MLAs in April 2019 resulted in the opposition B.C. Liberals winning a vote to keep the project agreement with LNG Canada public.

“This is the B.C. NDP and B.C. Liberals’ legislation,” Weaver wrote on Twitter after the walkout. “They now walk hand in hand in giving handouts to a fossil fuel project that will be Canada’s largest source of emissions.”

RELATED: B.C. NDP loses vote after Greens walk out over LNG

RELATED: B.C. budget heads into unknown deficit with COVID-19

But the protest was symbolic, since the B.C. Liberals supported LNG Canada along with the NDP, resulting in support of 84 MLAs to three. And as Weaver quit the Green leadership and the party in January 2020, he released a letter to Horgan that reiterated his support for the minority government and the NDP’s CleanBC plan for reducing greenhouse gases that Weaver co-authored.

CleanBC includes such far-off goals as restricting new vehicle sales to zero-emission models by 2040. Before it was agreed to, Weaver argued that the LNG Canada project would reverse any greenhouse gas gains the province could make.

Weaver and the two remaining B.C. Green MLAs have supported the NDP minority in votes, including crucial “confidence” votes on spending that could result in the defeat of the government and an election call. Green MLAs were part of a one-day emergency session of the legislature March 25 that gave the Horgan government $50 billion in temporary spending authority to keep the B.C. government in operation, including a $5 billion contingency fund to cover cash payments to individuals that plunged the province into deficit.

The $40 billion LNG Canada project is considered the largest private sector investment in Canadian history, linking northeast B.C. and Alberta shale gas deposits with customers in China, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturelng canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police probe reports that fire alarm didn’t sound during fatal Prince George motel blaze

A suspect was also arrested, but later released pending further investigation

Two arrested after shots fired complaint Monday night at Tyee Lake

Saunderson said RCMP immediately responded and located the suspect vehicle leaving the area

Quesnel RCMP, Search and Rescue respond to paddlers capsized in Quesnel River

A kayaker and canoer ended up in the fast flowing water just after launching

Integra Tire moving commercial shop to Glendale

Renovations of former grocery store underway

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Most Read