Another View: Premier looks back on 2013

Legislative reporter/columnist Tom Fletcher has a year-end talk with Premier Clark

B.C. Views

 

After a whirlwind year that started with a come-from-behind election win, Premier Christy Clark sat down with me for the traditional year-end interview in her Victoria office. Here are excerpts from that discussion. A longer version with video can be found under the Opinion tab of this newspaper’s website.

 

TF: Premier, you surprised a few people this year. What surprised you the most about 2013?

PCC: I guess it was the disconnect between the pollsters and the pundits, and the public. I did have a sense all the time that the citizens were thinking something different in the run-up to the election campaign. I wondered, am I missing something here, or are they missing something? And I guess it turned out that it wasn’t me that was missing something.

 

TF: The liquefied natural gas export project is going to use a lot of natural gas, especially in the early years. Will B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction targets [20 per cent reduction by 2020, 80 per cent by 2050] have to be changed?

PCC: I don’t have a clear answer on that yet. We are working with the companies on exactly how we are going to structure their environmental commitments and costs, and their electricity costs versus using gas, the total royalty tax regime. We’re looking at that as one package.

However that turns out, though, this opportunity to export natural gas to Asia is the single biggest opportunity we have ever had as a province to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world. In shipping this to China, we are going to help them wean themselves off some of the dirtiest coal anybody’s burning anywhere in the world.

 

TF: If B.C. is going to get credit for displacing coal use in Asia, shouldn’t B.C.’s coal exports, even though it’s metallurgical coal, count in our greenhouse gas total as well?

PCC: I know that the academics and pundits are going to get all mired in competing sets of numbers and studies. For me, we have a chance to do good for the world, and we’re going to take it.

 

TF: On oil pipelines, your agreement in November with Alberta Premier Alison Redford involves B.C. supporting her effort for a national energy strategy. What do you see it doing in the future?

PCC: The big idea that she’s trying to pursue with that is a strategy that will connect us east to west in energy. Energy grids are much better connected north to south than they are east to west. So she’s trying to pursue a pan-Canadian strategy for the exchange of energy, whether that’s hydroelectricity or natural gas or whatever it is.

We haven’t been intimately involved with it until recently, so we’ll see where it goes.

 

TF: There’s a perception out there, fuelled by the opposition, that you campaigned against oil pipelines and now you’re turning the tanker around, as it were, to be in support of them. What do you say to that?

PCC: It’s typical of the other guys to reinterpret and misquote. That’s what they do. They’re in opposition. What I said was, we have five conditions that must be met in order for heavy oil to be considered to go ahead in British Columbia. That has not changed.

The five conditions remain in place. As of today, none of them have been met. The only thing that is different today, from before the election, is that now I no longer stand alone in supporting the five conditions. I have one other premier supporting me, and that’s Alison Redford.

 

Tom Fletcher is legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Twitter: @tomfletcherbc Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de Rock riders zoom through Sooke, visit big donor

11-year-old Sooke girl raised over $10,000 for Tour de Rock with bottle drive

Sooke group providing assistance to seniors in dire need of volunteers

Loan Cupboard now in its 50th year of operation

Sooke seeks feedback on new building regulation bylaw

In addition to the online survey, a virtual online meeting takes place Oct. 22

Blackberry festival moves forward with drive-thru in Metchosin

Event takes place on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Most Read