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andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

Justice

Our statement on the 10th anniversary of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

B.C. Green caucus statement on the 10th anniversary of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
For immediate release
September 13, 2017

 

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, and Adam Olsen, B.C. Green caucus spokesperson for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, issued the following statement in recognition of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).

“UNDRIP is a landmark acknowledgement of the rights of Indigenous people across the world,” Weaver said.

“I am proud that the commitment to adopt UNDRIP is a foundational piece of our Confidence and Supply Agreement with the B.C. NDP and our caucus looks forward to supporting measures to establish a true government-to-government relationship with B.C.’s Indigenous peoples.”

“Today is a day to celebrate the fact that we have finally reached the point where we are beyond debating whether the minimum standards of UNDRIP should be endorsed,” Olsen said.

“By endorsing UNDRIP and pledging to work together to implement it, we are turning the page on denial of Indigenous peoples and their rights. We must now work together, in partnership, to identify how to implement and operationalize these standards. Doing so will require honesty about our deep and recent history of colonization, with all of the injustices and wrongs that term entails.

“Through working together we can show our children and grandchildren how we can at once create a more just society, address historic wrongs, and build prosperity for the future.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

My statement on MLA Darryl Plecas becoming Speaker

Today the legislature resumed sitting and our first order of business was to elect a speaker. I am absolutely thrilled that Dr. Darryl Plecas, the MLA from Abbotsford South was duly elected.

I got to know Darryl over the last few years and must say I cannot imagine a better person for the position. He is a principled man of exceptional ethics and high moral standards.

Shortly after an article appeared in Abbotsford News on August 4th, wherein Darryl Plecas confirmed he had threatened to resign if Christy Clark stayed on as premier, I phoned him up and and asked if he would be willing to have his name stand as speaker. We had a long conversation and I certainly got the sense that he was interested. I was delighted to see him follow through on that interest today.

Tradition in the house is for both government and official opposition house leaders to drag the speaker to the chair. This tradition embodies the apparent reluctance of the newly elected speaker to take on the role. A humerous moment occurred when Liberal house leader Mike de Jong whispered to Darryl Plecas and Mike Farnworth (directly in front of where I was sitting) “In this case even token resistance will be taken as disingenuous.

But humour ended there. The BC Liberals displayed a remarkable lack of grace and acted in a manner most unbecoming of MLAs. BC Liberal MLAs were instructed not to clap as the Speaker moved to the chair. This form of passive aggressive bullying has no business in the chamber and frankly, I think the Liberal caucus should be ashamed of themselves.

To make matters even worse, and in what can only be described as a classless act, the Interim Leader of the BC Liberals, Rich Coleman broke tradition and instead of offering his congratulations, gave the Speaker a lecture:

R. Coleman: The role of Speaker is fundamental to our parliamentary democracy. As Speaker you are in charge of ensuring that the traditions of this House are respected. As Speaker you’re responsible for ensuring that the majority and the minority are equally heard in the chamber. As Speaker your job is to protect the integrity of the institution and always to act honourably.

There will be times when the Legislature becomes raucous, and the Speaker must have the fortitude to make decisions guided in this chamber by things that happened over the last hundred years. Mr. Speaker, we hope you live up to those standards.

Compare that to the congratulatory remarks delivered by Premier Horgan:

Hon. J. Horgan: Hon. Speaker, I rise to offer my congratulations to you as the Speaker of the people’s House. The people in their wisdom sent and an equal number of members from two political parties and a third party to support the work of the great province that we happen to be living in. I am so delighted that you’ve taken up the challenge of keeping us honest, keeping us fair and keeping us on course.

Of course, for the people of B.C., this is not about partisanship. This is about a new government and a new opportunity. I fully expect those on the other side of the House to keep us accountable, and I fully expect members on this side of the House to be respectful to the questions asked and, most importantly, respectful to you and the office that you hold.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to look forward to working with you over the next number of years to make B.C. better.

With that, Hon. Speaker, the best of luck to you. You have our full support. I look forward to working with you in our House for all of the interests that British Columbians want us to achieve in the days and years ahead.

Below is the statement that I released concerning the appointment of a Speaker.


Media Statement


Weaver statement on MLA Darryl Plecas becoming Speaker
For immediate release
September 8, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, issued the following statement in response to Darryl Plecas becoming Speaker.

“I am delighted to congratulate Darryl, who has been declared Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,” Weaver said.

“Darryl is known by his colleagues in the Legislature as a person of exceptional ethics and high moral standards. He will undoubtedly serve with dignity and honour as Speaker of this House.

“Darryl’s willingness to stand for Speaker is an encouraging sign that the MLAs of all parties will be able to work together in a productive, collaborative session. We have an historic opportunity to work across party lines to advance good public policy that serves the interests of British Columbians. I look forward to finally getting on with the business of the Legislature to do just that.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

Calling for independent inquiry into Port Mann bridge management

Today we issued a statement calling for an independent inquiry into the management and construction of the Port Mann bridge. This was done in response to an investigative CBC report that appeared this morning.

Below I reproduce the statement.


Media Statement


B.C. Greens call for independent inquiry into Port Mann bridge management
For immediate release
September 7, 2017

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen today called for an independent review of the Port Mann bridge spending in response to news that a CBC investigation uncovered allegations of at least $150 million in misspent funds.

“The allegations that at least $150 million of taxpayer money has been misspent by the Liberal government on this project are deeply troubling,” Weaver said.

“British Columbians deserve answers. A public inquiry into the management of this project must be conducted to determine whether taxpayer interests have been adequately protected.”

Yesterday, Olsen was appointed the B.C. Green caucus spokesperson for transportation.

“It is essential that major capital projects are providing the best value for money for British Columbians,” continued Olsen.

“Taxpayers deserve to know whether their money is being well managed. The allegations published today raise serious questions as to whether this was the case with the Port Mann bridge. We must ensure accountability and transparency so that transportation is managed in the most efficient means possible.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

Political stunts and political spin — the confusing tale of the government’s inept grizzly bear policy

Today the BC NDP claimed to set the stage for banning trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia. In what can only be described as a political stunt, the BC NDP announced that “effective Nov. 30, 2017, the British Columbia government will end grizzly bear trophy hunting throughout the province.” They further proclaimed “while the trophy hunt will end, hunting for meat will be allowed to continue.”

In response to their announcement I issued a statement, reproduced below.

As you will see, I am very supportive of the fact that  the B.C. NDP are respecting the wishes of the Coastal First Nations by placing a moratorium on the hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest. Readers of this website will know that I called for this back in February, 2014 (3 1/2 years ago). However, during the election campaign I pointed out that the B.C. NDP appeared to be trying to have their cake and eat it too when it came to the grizzly hunt. They told the hunting community one thing and the environmental community another.

Today’s announcement will not end grizzly bear hunting in B.C., as many environmental groups have advocated for.

In addition, this announcement will create a system in which not all of the animal will be harvested – resident hunters will no longer be allowed to possess the hair, head and hide of grizzlies. This will be viewed as wasteful by the resident hunting community.

Foreign hunters will still be able to shoot grizzlies in British Columbia, take a picture of themselves standing over the dead beast, and head back home without harvesting any of the animal.

What’s remarkable is that when I introduced legislation in the Spring of 2017 targeted at foreign trophy hunters the BC NDP did not support it. Now, they introduce a mishmash approach that makes little sense.

I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies. What we really need in BC is science-based approach to wildlife management, not a populist approach to species management.


Media Release


Weaver statement on government’s intention to end the grizzly bear trophy hunt
For immediate release
August 14, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, responded to today’s news regarding grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia. Weaver has long advocated for action on this issue.

“I am encouraged that the B.C. NDP are respecting the wishes of the Coastal First Nations by placing a moratorium on the hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest,” says Weaver.

Weaver further cautions “During the election campaign I pointed out that the B.C. NDP appeared to be trying to have their cake and eat it too when it came to the grizzly hunt. They told the hunting community one thing and the environmental community another.”

Today’s announcement will not end grizzly bear hunting in B.C., as many environmental groups have advocated for.

In addition, this announcement will create a system in which not all of the animal will be harvested – resident hunters will no longer be allowed to possess the hair, head and hide of grizzlies. This will be viewed as wasteful by the resident hunting community.

In addition, foreign hunters will still be able to shoot grizzlies in British Columbia, take a picture of themselves standing over the dead beast, and head back home without harvesting any of the animal.

Weaver adds “I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies.

“What we really need in BC is science-based approach to wildlife management, not a populist approach to species management.

“B.C. is one of the last strongholds of grizzlies in North America. There are a range of issues that affect the health of grizzly bear populations. These include the effects of climate change on essential salmon and huckleberry stocks, as well as road kill rates and poaching incidents. We must focus on broader wildlife preservation if we are serious about conservation and the protection of grizzlies and other species in this province.

“B.C. and Alberta are the only provinces without Endangered Species legislation. I will work with the government to ensure the introduction of species at risk legislation is advanced in the near future,” says Weaver.

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Media contact

Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597
jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

Calling out cynicism embodied in BC Liberal attempts to trigger new election

Today in the Legislature I took the opportunity to question the Premier about the letter that the Minister of Finance sent to the Speaker today. The BC Liberals were very feisty in their heckling during my questioning.

As is evident from the exchange below, it is pretty clear to me that the Premier’s commitment to working across party lines is predicated on her government being in power. The BC Greens and the BC NDP signed a “supply and confidence agreement” on May 29th. Seven weeks later the BC Liberals continue to delay the inevitable confidence motion.

Below I reproduce the text and video of the exchange today.


Video of Exchange


Question


A. Weaver: The NDP and the B.C. Greens have already demonstrated their willingness to work across party lines. The Premier has stated….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. The Chair will hear the question.

A. Weaver: It’s good to see the government acting like an opposition party right now.

The Premier has stated she’s willing to do the same. Last week, the Liberals even adopted 30 B.C. Green and B.C. NDP policies, most of which we now have all-party agreement on. If the B.C. Liberals are being honest with British Columbians when they say they want to avoid an election and make this Legislature work, then the issues that the Minister of Finance raised today in his letter to you, hon. Speaker, will be the exception, not the norm, since we should all be able to cooperate to advance good public policy in the best interests of British Columbia. So….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members.

A. Weaver: My question is to the Premier: will she reiterate to this House and to British Columbians her party’s commitment to work constructively across party lines to ensure stability regardless….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. The Chair will hear the question.

A. Weaver: Again, will she reiterate for this House and to British Columbians her party’s commitment to work constructively across party lines to ensure stability regardless of where she and her party sit in this chamber?


Answer


Hon. C. Clark: Thanks to the member for the question. Yesterday, our government introduced legislation which all three parties campaigned on supporting — on campaign finance reform. And the members of this House….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. The Chair heard the question. The Chair will also hear the answer.

Hon. C. Clark: In an effort to put forward legislation, again, that demonstrated that this House could work and work across party lines — campaign finance legislation — which all parties and British Columbians agree it’s time for…. Members of this House voted against it, including that member, before he’d ever even seen it.

In addition to that, yesterday in this House, this government introduced another piece of legislation which all parties, I understood, agreed on — a one-page piece of legislation that would have changed something like two words. Legislation that would have given him official party status. That member also voted against it. So he should be careful about talking about working across party lines. He doesn’t want to be a party. I guess we’ll only be able to work with one of them in this House.


Supplementary Question


A. Weaver: Well, the B.C. Liberals continue to act like that belligerent child going into a hissy fit, kicking and screaming as they’re put in a time-out that they don’t want to go into.

I didn’t hear the B.C. Liberals campaigning on the election campaign to give the B.C. Green party, party status. I certainly did not hear them campaigning to ban big money on the election campaign. This is revisionist history.

You know, if the B.C. Liberals are truly sincere about their desire to collaborate across party lines and work to implement legislation on the priorities outlined in their throne speech, the question raised in the Minister of Finance’s letters would be of limited relevance. After all, with all the policy agreements that we have in the last few days, there shouldn’t be many tied votes. The Liberals support both of our platforms.

Yet, the government….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

A. Weaver: This is remarkable. They truly are getting ready to sit in opposition. It’s remarkable.

Yet the government appears to unnecessarily be delaying the confidence vote, creating uncertainty and using every opportunity to raise the spectre of a possible election, which only the governing party seems to want.

Did you know that the idea of another election has a lower approval rating than Donald Trump?

My question is this. Assuming you are sincere, assuming….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. We’ll hear the question.

A. Weaver: Assuming that the government is sincere about their intention to work constructively across party lines, why are they so focused on the games that they are playing to create uncertainty in British Columbia today?


Answer


Hon. C. Clark: So, what I understand from the member from Oak Bay is he thinks that the way to demonstrate that we are working across party lines is for him to vote against the things he campaigned on, because it didn’t come from his preferred party in the Legislature.

He campaigned on campaign finance reform. And then he voted against it. He campaigned in favour of his party and asked very clearly for his party to have third party status. And then he voted against it — in both cases, without even wanting to see the bill before it was introduced.

That is not demonstrating that you can work across party lines. That’s shown that the member opposite has put himself in an ideological box he can’t find his way out of. He isn’t willing to work across party lines.

If he does change his mind about that, though, I would be delighted, if he’d be willing to give leave for it, to offer those two bills to the House again so we can conduct the vote again and demonstrate that we can all work across party lines on issues where we all agree…

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Hon. C. Clark: …because there’s no reason that the leader of the Greens should be working so hard to defeat legislation that he campaigned on.