B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and Premier John Horgan announce that only zero-emission vehicles will be sold in B.C. by 2040, B.C. legislature, Nov. 20, 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. VIEWS: The art of announcing things you haven’t done yet

Clinging to power, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver imagine a dynasty

For a fragile minority government that could lose power if next spring’s budget votes coincide with a bad flu season, the John Horgan “GreeNDP” folks certainly have a sweeping vision for your future.

Horgan and B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver rolled up in an electric Kia Soul the other day to announce that British Columbia will allow only zero-emission vehicle sales for its union-made roads – starting in 2040.

This proclamation came before General Motors used electric drivetrains as a pretext to rationalize its aging North American auto assembly operations by closing five plants. Perhaps our co-premiers will summon GM executives to set up a Volt plant here in carbon-free B.C. by, say, 2030?

The zero-emission car announcement was one of several events that didn’t get much attention, what with the Victoria cops visiting the legislature to perp-walk two senior administrators out, without a hint of a charge.

In October we had an announcement about B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, which isn’t done yet. The legislation won’t be released until February. What we got were bold targets, a 25 per cent reduction in poverty within five years, 50 per cent for child poverty.

At least Ottawa has finally figured out how to define the “poverty line,” after many years of public sector unions distorting cost-of-living statistics to paint B.C. in particular as a Third World hellhole.

The Justin Trudeau government needed a definition for its own Poverty Reduction Act, unveiled to national media fanfare in November. It’s nowhere near done. So far it’s mostly targets, 20 per cent below 2015 levels by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2030.

You may notice that poverty targets sound like the last two decades of greenhouse gas targets, which have an unbroken record of failure not only in B.C. and Canada, but around the world.

And yes, the GreeNDP have new climate targets. They accepted that the bad old government’s 2020 target won’t be met, and they have a new one for 2030. I’ll spare you the numbers, but it’s big, it’s bold and it’s off in the future. A new LNG-friendly B.C. Climate Action Strategy is imminent as well, or at least the announcement is.

RELATED: NDP sets new greenhouse gas emission targets

RELATED: NDP offers new tax breaks to LNG Canada

Horgan and Weaver inherited the highest carbon tax in North America, imposed during the now-ritually invoked 16 years of B.C. Liberal neglect. Finance Minister Carole James led an “axe the gas tax” campaign in the 2009 election, but now the planet’s future depends on her devotion to “fighting” “carbon pollution” with ever-increasing taxes diverted to things like giving away electricity for cars.

Horgan’s latest proclamation, announced to hundreds of Indigenous leaders at their annual meeting with cabinet ministers in Vancouver, is that B.C. is about to be the first jurisdiction in North America to embrace the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That’s the one that guarantees “free, prior and informed consent” for any development affecting aboriginal territory, something politicians keep assuring us is not a veto.

And of course it’s nowhere near done, either in Ottawa or Victoria. Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould gave a speech to the same “all chiefs” gathering in Vancouver two years ago, explaining this UN deal can’t simply be imposed on Canadian law.

She’s a lawyer and member of the Kwagiulth people of the B.C. coast. Her father Hemas Kla-Lee-Lee-Kla (Bill Wilson) was one of the architects of aboriginal rights in Canada’s Constitution Act of 1982.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press Media. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@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

A driver pulls up to the new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Weddings, funerals have ‘potential to become a super-spreader’ event: Fraser Health

As of Oct. 21, health authority accounted for 70% of total provincial cases

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
More than 200 new COVID-19 cases linked to Fraser Health region: Dr. Henry

Provincial health officer appeals to people to keep gatherings small

Reni Masi file photo
Former Surrey school trustee, Delta MLA dies at age 87

Reni Masi served as Liberal MLA for nine years, then as a Surrey school trustee for another nine

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s Senator Reid reporting first COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Most Read