Clark cozies up to feds on coast guard spending 0
B.C. Premier Christy Clark during the official opening of the new emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, B.C. on Tuesday October 8, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Premier Christy Clark has seemingly warmed up to Ottawa, saying Tuesday she was “very thankful” the federal government has shown interest in beefing up the Canadian Coast Guard’s spill-response capabilities off the province’s coast.
Clark has been at odds with Alberta Premier Alison Redford and, to a lesser extent, Ottawa over the Northern Gateway pipeline and any dangers it could pose to the B.C. coastline.
But as she helped open Surrey Memorial Hospital’s new emergency room Tuesday, the premier seemed to be warming up to the federal government on the issue.
“Here’s the good news,” said Clark. “For decades the federal government has been withdrawing support for coast guard on the West Coast, the busiest port in this country. For the first time in decades we have a federal government that’s interested in fixing that problem.”
Better oil spill response is part of Clark’s so-called “five principles” that need to be addressed before Victoria would agree to running a bitumen oil pipeline through the province to export oil from Alberta.
But BC NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said Clark is just playing a game.
“She wants to appear an environmental champion while all the while facilitating a massive expansion in tar sands oil shipments,” said Chandra Herbert. “I don’t get how you could say you’re very thankful for a federal government that has cut protections for even our existing oil exports.”