B.C. Green MLAs Adam Olsen, Andrew Weaver and Sonia Furstenau. (Hansard TV)

B.C. NDP loses vote after Greens walk out in LNG protest

B.C. Greens leave legislature, B.C. Liberals pass amendment

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver stepped up his symbolic protest against the NDP government’s tax breaks for natural gas exports, walking out of the legislature with his fellow MLAs to let the opposition win a vote.

“This is the B.C. NDP and B.C. Liberals’ legislation,” Weaver wrote on Twitter after the three Green MLAs intentionally skipped the vote Tuesday evening. “They now walk hand in hand in giving handouts to a fossil fuel project that will be Canada’s largest source of emissions.”

The vote on an amendment was a tie, 41 to 41, after Weaver and the Greens left the chamber. B.C. Liberal MLA Joan Isaacs, the assistant deputy speaker who was presiding over debate, cast the deciding vote with the opposition. The result was to force the NDP government to keep a provision to make its project agreement with LNG Canada public.

While the outcome doesn’t change the province’s deal to support LNG Canada’s $40 billion investment in a pipeline and gas export facilities at Kitimat, it demonstrates the tension in the minority government as the B.C. Greens continue to keep the NDP in power.

READ MORE: LNG Canada backers tell success story in New York

READ MORE: LNG Canada sponsors driver training in northwest B.C.

B.C. Liberal MLA Ellis Ross, a former Haisla Nation chief and long-time backer of LNG projects for the Kitimat area, was scornful of the Green protest.

“Man this is shameful,” Ross tweeted after the vote. “The Green Party left the house so they wouldn’t have to vote against the NDP on accountability. Then they come back in after the vote is over to vote no on LNG.”

The votes came after a long debate on the LNG tax breaks, which repeal the Christy Clark government’s LNG income tax, extend the commercial rate for electricity to LNG Canada, and defer provincial sales tax payment until the project begins shipping liquefied gas to Asia.

B.C. Liberal MLA Mike de Jong spent much of the day Tuesday pressing Finance Minister Carole James on making the project agreement public, and on the lack of a formal agreement on how many temporary foreign workers would be used in construction.

LNG Canada is a consortium of Shell, Korea Gas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi of Japan and Petronas, a Malaysian-based energy giant.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford Hospital COVID-19 outbreak over, a new one reported at business

New World Technologies is site of ‘very small’ outbreak, says Dr. Bonnie Henry

Solidarity demonstration planned for Abbotsford on Friday

People gathering to protest police brutality and systemic racism in downtown Abbotsford

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read