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.

Just Posted

Board of Education hires independent consultant to review SD82 reassignments

Review will not change recent decisions but will gather input, says board chair

Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

100-passenger Aurora was launched this year for the Rio Tinto Kemano tunnel project

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

New protocol will better assist victims of sexual assault

Victims of sexual assault are set to benefit from the completion of… Continue reading

School district remains firm on reassignments

Community calling for halt of decision

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read