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

Leadership transitions at the College of the Rockies

Paul Vogt steps in to lead the College as former president David Walls retires

Council approves new policy for reserve, surplus funds

Cranbrook city council has approved a new reserves and surplus policy, which… Continue reading

Jill Carley new vice-principal at Mt. Baker Secondary

Following the announcement of a new principal for Cranbrook’s high school, a… Continue reading

Council signals interest in interim national auxiliary constable program

Cranbrook city council has expressed interest in continuing with an interim national… Continue reading

Cranbrook city council approves agreement with RecycleBC for curbside collection

Cranbrook city council has taken another step towards curbside recycling collection, unanimously… Continue reading

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

Most Read