Another View: Premier Clark on her political year

B.C. Views with Tom Fletcher, columnist for Black Press

B.C. Views

 

I recently sat down with Premier Christy Clark for a year-end interview to talk about her eventful first year back in politics. Here are excerpts from that discussion:

 

TF: People in general are a bit cynical about the treaty process. You could say that about Sophie Pierre [former Ktunaxa chief and chair of the independent B.C. Treaty Commission]. In her report this year she talked about the mounting debt from 20 years of negotiations and basically gave an ultimatum to fix it or shut it down. Do you see the commission continuing as it is, or do you see some changes ahead?

 

PCC: We’re not planning any significant changes to it. We are starting to see, just now, the fruits of all the work from the ministry and from the government and from the treaty commission. And that’s all starting to move pretty quickly. The Taku River Tlinglit economic agreement [mining development and protected areas in the Atlin area], there are a number of these agreements that are starting to flow out, and it’s been a long, slow, frustrating process. So now is the wrong time to walk away from the process, because there’s been 20 years of work invested in this, and we’re finally starting to see the fruits of it.

 

TF: A related subject is the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline. There’s a lot of aboriginal opposition to that. The federal Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, not too long ago called this a “nation building project.” It certainly fits with your jobs strategy. Do you support the concept of the pipeline?

 

PCC: First of all, we are foursquare behind the concept and soon to be reality of the liquefied natural gas pipelines, which would take B.C. gas and get it to the port at Kitimat. There is pretty much unanimous First Nations support along the way, community support, through the environmental approval process, it’s all working.

The Enbridge proposal is far from that. Being able to get triple the price for Canadian oil would be a big benefit for Canada overall. But the project is one where we have to examine both the costs and benefits. That’s why it’s in the environmental approval process. This is the first of its kind, so I think we have to get a good look at it, and once we have the facts before us, we can have a debate about whether it should go ahead.

 

TF: The carbon tax. Do you think it’s working, and will we see changes in the years to come?

 

PCC: I think that it’s probably affecting people’s and businesses’ decisions about their reliance on carbon as a source of energy. I don’t want to overstate that, though. The thing about the carbon tax is that it’s hard to know how much difference it’s made. But I think anecdotally we see that it has made some difference.

We are in the process now of consulting with both the job creator community and citizens about where they’d like us to go next with the carbon tax. We have to keep in mind that the economy is fragile. But we want to remain a leader on the environment, which where we are right now in North America.

•••

The interview also touched on Clark’s efforts to ease the pain of getting rid of the HST, and other issues. You can find the full text on this newspaper’s website by pointing to the News tab and clicking on B.C. News.

 

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Sooke Bluffs staircase closed due to rot

District to consider replacement for ‘high risk’ staircase in fall

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

Most Read