The fourth set of questions the Tribune asked the candidates running in the provincial election is about their stance on health care, environment, fisheries and jobs:
What is your position on the proposed Enbridge pipeline project, and corresponding proposal to ship crude oil to China from Prince Rupert? What is your position on the new proposal by David Black to build an oil refinery in Kitimat? How do you see run of river hydro projects fitting into the B.C. economy?
Answers are as follows:
Bob Simpson, Independent (incumbent), Cariboo North
• Enbridge should not have been allowed to enter the National Energy Board review process because both the federal and provincial governments know that British Columbians will not allow super tankers in the Douglas Channel.
We’ve created an unnecessarily acrimonious fight over a major pipeline that simply will not get built.
If the NEB says yes, then the pipeline will be held up in the courts for many years to come.
• This proposal makes no sense both economically and environmentally.
If we’re going to refine tar sands bitumen then it should be done closer to source in Alberta.
I believe that this proposal is simply a public relations exercise for political reasons and it shouldn’t be treated seriously.
• I support a comprehensive review of the provincial cumulative impact implications of all the run of the river projects on the books in B.C. Fortunately, these projects have proven to be too costly and most are being shelved for economic reasons.
Duncan Barnett, New Democratic Party, Cariboo North
• New Democrats oppose the Enbridge pipeline because B.C. would take all of the environmental and economic risk, with none of the economic benefit. It’s a project that doesn’t make sense for B.C.
Unfortunately, the Liberals have signed over B.C.’s authority on this project to the federal government. I believe that is wrong. The NDP will terminate this agreement within seven days of forming government.
We will use B.C.’s legal and constitutional powers to protect B.C.’s interests in this matter and ensure that major projects are decided here in B.C., not in Ottawa.
• Kitimat refinery proposal: Every proposal that has the potential to create jobs is worth considering. Many experts have questioned the feasibility of this project, and there are a number of unanswered questions because there is no proposal before government.
The uncertainty of proposals like this remind us of the need to diversify our economy in agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and other industries. We need a balanced resource economy that runs on all cylinders, that creates good, family supporting jobs.
• Run of river projects should benefit communities and the province. The model pursued by the Liberals is driving up the cost of BC Hydro without, in many cases, providing any benefit to communities and First Nations.
B.C. Liberal mismanagement of Hydro has resulted in higher rates for consumers. New Democrats will stop the wasteful “buy high, sell low” model of electricity production created by the current government that has left British Columbians on the hook for millions of dollars in bad deals for overpriced electricity.
Coralee Oakes, Liberal Party, Cariboo North
• Before today’s B.C. Liberals will support any heavy oil pipeline, five minimum requirements must be met – a successful environmental review process; world-leading marine and land oil spill responses, prevention and recovery systems; First Nations must participate and benefit; and BC must receive a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits.
• Mr. Black’s $25 billion refinery proposal is an opportunity for BC to generate jobs and wealth. Construction would mean 6,000 jobs and another 3,000 when operations began. This could be a tremendous game-changer for future generations. Environmentally, it would reduce the risk to our coastline by shipping lighter petroleum products. Why shouldn’t we be creating a road map for a debt free British Columbia?
• Today’s B.C, Liberals believe that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) play an integral role in the delivery and production of clean energy. IPPs have been supplying clean electricity to British Columbians for more than 20 years and generate about 15 per cent of BC Hydro’s electricity supply through 79 agreements. IPPs will continue to be important as our future electricity needs are forecasted to increase by approximately 40 per cent in the next 20 years, driven by a projected population increase of more than one million residents and economic expansion.