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Pipelines

Bill M219 — Recall and Initiative Amendment Act, 2017

Today in the Legislature I rose to re-introduce my private members bill entitled Bill M219: Recall and Initiative Amendment Act.

It is clear that British Columbians are concerned about oil pipelines and have lost confidence in the federal review process. The problem is, the tools we have to make our voices heard are too restrictive. If enacted, this bill would give British Columbians a stronger voice on how oil pipeline proposals are evaluated in the province.

Last October the residents of Bella Bella saw first hand how unprepared we are for an oil spill. It’s clear from the federal hearings I participates in on the Trans Mountain pipeline that these concerns aren’t being adequately addressed. In addition, no specifics have been outlined as to how recently announced federal funding will be used to prepare for a heavy oil spill.

My bill would make it easier for British Columbians to require their provincial government to hold a made-in-B.C. hearing process on oil pipelines.


Introductory Remarks on the Bill


A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled the Recall and Initiative Amendment Act, 2017, of which notice has been given, be introduced and read a first time now.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: It gives me great pleasure to introduce this bill, which is designed to empower British Columbians so that their voices can be more effectively heard on environmental reviews of major projects such as oil pipelines.

If we are to re-engage British Columbians in our democracy, we need to actively seek their view on far more of what we debate in this Legislature. We also need to provide them with additional tools to hold their government to account. The Recall and Initiative Amendment Act is one such tool. British Columbians have lost faith in the federal review process, particularly as it pertains to oil pipeline proposals. The province has not listened to their voices.

This bill would offer British Columbians an opportunity to ensure that their voices are indeed heard. If an initiative were to pass under the proposed changes in the Recall and Initiative Amendment Act, it would require government to pull out of an existing environmental equivalency agreement for a particular project and hold its own made-in-B.C. review of, for example, a proposed heavy-oil pipeline.

I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House.

Bill M219, Recall and Initiative Amendment Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.


Video of Introductory Remarks


Statement on BC Government’s Approval of Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Statement on BC Government’s Approval of Kinder Morgan Pipeline
For immediate release
January 11, 2017

VICTORIA B.C. – BC Green Party Leader, Andrew Weaver, and BC Green Candidate for Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen, have issued the following statement in response to the BC Government’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

“Only the BC Liberals would suggest the approval of a heavy oil pipeline that puts our communities and coastline at risk was done to advance our healthy environment,” said Andrew Weaver. “I reviewed the exact same material as the BC Government as an official intervenor and I can tell you unequivocally, the evidence does not support this decision. The evidence does not support their assurances that we can adequately respond to a heavy oil spill, nor does it backup the government’s misleading claims about the economic effects this pipeline will have.”

“You’d think that, at the very least, Kinder Morgan would have been expected to show that they can clean up a dilbit spill to get approval. But they haven’t – because they can’t,” said Adam Olsen. “To make the situation even more absurd, the government is responding to evidence that says we are unable to remove spilled dilbit from a marine environment by saying ‘don’t worry about it, Kinder Morgan will figure it out.’”

“This is the result of a ‘get to yes, no matter the costs’ approach to economic policy. We have a project being approved that most British Columbians are against. We have a process that actively excluded communities. Now the government is arbitrarily suggesting that its conditions have been met, while the evidence shows that’s impossible.”

Both Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen were interveners in the Kinder Morgan Hearing process, submitting hundreds of questions and reviewing thousands of pages of documentation from Kinder Morgan.

– 30 –

Media contact
Mat Wright, Press Secretary, Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@bcgreens.ca

Premier Notley Responds Negatively to My Request for a Public Meeting

In what has turned out to be a bizarre set of emails with Rachel Notley’s office today, it now appears that there will not be a public meeting after all. So the net result of Ms. Notley’s trip to BC was a closed door back room event with John Horgan, and a number of radio interviews wherein she talked at British Columbians.  This hardly builds trust especially since Mr. Horgan has changed his opinions on the Kinder Morgan pipeline so many times, I’ve lost count.

Talk about lack of transparency. If Ms. Notley wanted to engage British Columbians she would listen to them, not talk at them. She has not listened and both Ms. Clark and Mr. Horgan have remained silent.

Below I reproduce both letters I received today. Now I have asked countless people about their interpretation of the first letter. It was unanimous that people felt that this was to be interpreted as an invitation for a public meeting. The second letter is pretty clear.


Text of the First Letter


Dear Mr. Weaver:

On behalf of Premier Notley, thank you for your email. I appreciate you reaching out and I have shared your invitation with Premier Notley and her scheduling staff to organize a public meeting between you and her team.

Premier Notley’s scheduling staff will follow up with you shortly.

Regards,

Sonya McAdam
Premier’s Correspondence Unit


Text of the Second Letter


Dear Dr. Weaver,

Thank you for your letter of December 5th, 2016 to Premier Notley. Unfortunately, we are unable to oblige your request.

Sincerely,

Miriam Rycroft
Director of Scheduling, Office of the Premier

Premier Notley Responds Positively to My Request for a Public Meeting

Earlier today I received an email from Rachel Notley’s staff (reproduced below). The email accepted my request for a public meeting on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. While details are scant at this stage, and I’m not sure what a meeting with “her team” means, I am very pleased that British Columbians will be given an opportunity to witness a public discussion on the issue of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

As the only MLA who served as an intervenor on this project,  I will be bringing forward the myriad concerns that I highlighted during the National Energy Board Hearings. In addition, as a climate scientist who has served as a Lead Author on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific assessments, I can relate this infrastructure project to the goals that Canada agreed to when it signed the Paris Accord last year.


Text of the Letter


Dear Mr. Weaver:

On behalf of Premier Notley, thank you for your email. I appreciate you reaching out and I have shared your invitation with Premier Notley and her scheduling staff to organize a public meeting between you and her team.

Premier Notley’s scheduling staff will follow up with you shortly.

Regards,

Sonya McAdam
Premier’s Correspondence Unit

 

Statement on Clark and Horgan’s response to Notley’s visit

For immediate release
Dec. 6, 2016

Statement on Clark and Horgan’s response to Notley’s visit

VICTORIA B.C. – B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver was angered by the lack of response from Premier Christy Clark and John Horgan as they let the premier of another province go unchallenged in making claims about a project that British Columbians have clearly said they do not want.

“British Columbians have said time and time again that they have felt excluded from discussions on the Kinder Morgan pipeline – that their concerns have been completely ignored. Now when the premier of another province comes to tell British Columbians what’s good for us, neither Premier Clark nor John Horgan did anything to change that.

“Premier Christy Clark was completely absent while a Premier of another province appeared on numerous TV and radio shows and made unsupported claims about the pipeline. The evidence clearly shows us that we are entirely unprepared to deal with an oil spill and yet our Premier had nothing to say.

“John Horgan, on the other hand, held a closed-door meeting with Premier Notley and allowed her to do the talking for him. At a time when British Columbians have made it clear that they want to be included in the conversation, Horgan has made it clear that he doesn’t want to have the actual conversation in public.

“Ultimately, people are wondering if their politicians are really representing their concerns in these discussions. With the complete reversal of the Federal Liberal position regarding this pipeline, significant public trust has been burned. British Columbians are done with backroom meetings and talking points. Only an open, unscripted debate will give British Columbians the opportunity to hear their concerns truly represented and responded to.

“If Horgan and Clark truly care about ensuring that British Columbians’ concerns are addressed, I hope they will support my call for an open, unscripted debate with Premier Notley on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I am going to keep pushing for it. I hope they will join me.”

– 30 –

Media contact
Mat Wright, Press Secretary, Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@bcgreens.ca

Background – Andrew Weaver

Andrew Weaver received intervenor status in the National Energy Board hearing on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project both as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and as a scientist with a doctorate in applied mathematics and with specialty in physical oceanography and atmospheric and climate science. As an MLA, he represents the constituency of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, which is located along the Trans Mountain Tanker Sailing Route on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. He was the only B.C. MLA with intervenor status in the hearing process.

As a scientist, Weaver served as Lansdowne Professor and Canada Research Chair in climate modeling and analysis in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, where he worked for over 20 years. He was a lead author on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th scientific assessments and has authored and coauthored over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers. Weaver is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Throughout the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain NEB hearings, he applied his scientific expertise, particularly in physical oceanography and modelling.