Opinion Column


BC NDP wrong to back bad LNG bill

By Laila Yuile, City Hall

The BC NDP and the BC Liberals have joined forces on the LNG bill. 

The BC NDP and the BC Liberals have joined forces on the LNG bill. (FILE PHOTO)


This week`s topic: Is the NDP's support of the BC Liberal's LNG Tax Legislation good for B.C.?

If our readers could listen into the weekly calls Brent and I schedule to decide on a Duel topic, they’d get an earful. Brent is as strongly committed to his opinions and perspective as I am and if there is compromise, it’s based on supported facts, not concerns over how the public will perceive us.

That’s why when he suggested this week’s question, I jumped at the chance immediately. I’d just started reading the Hansard transcripts from last week, specifically the speech given by BC NDP Leader John Horgan on LNG prospects in this province and this bill. Horgan spoke passionately and eloquently to the many flaws in this legislation and how it failed to address the concerns of both opposition members who earlier spoke against it, and the public. It’s clear he understands the issues.

However, this portion of his speech left me stunned: “These are fundamental questions that are skirted by this government's desire to say that the NDP is against everything. Well, you won't be able to say that with Bill 6, because we're going to stand side by side with you and vote in favour of it. As deficient as it may be, it does provide us with an opportunity to reduce some of the uncertainty that has been rampant on this file.”

Ultimately, every NDP member in the house voted in favour. The NDP decried the Liberals for not putting politics aside and putting British Columbians first, yet they are guilty of playing the same kind of politics by refusing to support Green MLA Andrew Weaver`s amendment to send this bill to a select standing committee. This would have allowed an opportunity to get some answers to the many unanswered questions.

Read Brent Stafford's column here.

This government promised a tax rate of up to 7%, then pandered it down to 3.5% under corporate pressure. They failed to provide revenue projections or justifications for doing so. Weaver also identified a number of loopholes that could reduce any provincial tax revenue from LNG further – how is that good for provincial coffers?

The NDP know the LNG promises made by government are questionable, unsubstantiated and overstated. Their decision to vote with the Liberals definitely did send a message to big business - sadly, it’s not the one that many British Columbians expected to hear.

Laila Yuile is an independent writer, blogger and political commentator. You can read her blog at lailayuile.com. 


Who wins this week's Duel?

Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions