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

WATCH: City of West Kelowna opens up for public hearings

City staff have made sure residents keep their distance to minimize COVID-19 transmission

Peachland recovery task force proposes larger patios

Several initiatives proposed by the Peachland COVID-19 recovery task force will go to council tonight

Motorbike crash on Glenmore Road

Traffic is slow going on Glenmore Road headed north

Suspected social media accounts of accused Kelowna hamster torturer emerge

Leighton Allen Labute, 20, is facing six charges related to his alleged torture of a hamster

North Westside residents shocked at fire chief’s suspension

Communities association president said they don’t know why the suspension happened

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 97 near Summerland

The incident involving a motorcycle happened just before 4 p.m.

Tagging Suicide Hill in Vernon in lieu of grad party?

City councillor pitches idea to revive old tradition amid COVID-19 pandemic

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

North Okanagan campers trashing rules

Campers still pitching tents, and leaving garbage, despite sites not being open until June 1

Most Read