Published on May 10th, 2017 | by Roy L Hales0
British Columbia’s LNG Dreams May Be Over
May 10th, 2017 by Roy L Hales
Originally published on the ECOreport.
The final outcome of British Columbia’s election will not be known until absentee ballots are counted. Premier Christy Clark currently leads, with 43 seats as opposed to the NDP’s 41 and the Green party’s 3. Unless these results change, BC’s LNG dreams may be over.
It has been four years since Clark promised the province a potentially trillion dollar LNG industry. According to a recent estimate from the Pembina Institute, if the largest of her proposed LNG terminals had been built it might have doubled the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. None of these projects went forward.
Andrew Weaver, whose Green party holds the balance of power, told reporters, “British Columbians were sold a bill of goods on LNG. It wasn’t going to happen then, it’s not going to happen now. … LNG is not happening, so let’s move on to the new economy.”
This could also mean the end of the province’s controversial Site C Dam project. Both the NDP and Green participants voiced their opposition during the province’s recent Clean Energy and Climate debate.
“Site C is being constructed for an industry that does not exist, the LNG industry, and so desperate are the BC Liberals to actually land LNG that they sign contracts to subsidize LNG … to the tune of 6 cents a kilowatt hour,” said Weaver.
Liberals Not Ready To Admit Defeat
The Liberals are not ready to admit defeat.
“We won the popular vote, and we have also won the most seats and with absentee ballots still to be counted, I am confident that they will strengthen our margin of victory. So it is my intention to continue to lead British Columbia,” Clark told supporters in Vancouver.
To which NDP leader John Horgan responded, “A majority of British Columbians voted for a new government.”
Both leaders are in communication with Weaver.
A New Political System
The NDP already endorse Weaver’s two preconditions for a coalition with the Green Party.
They previously brought forward legislation banning union and corporate political campaign donations on seven occasions, only to see it squashed by the Liberal majority.
If elected, the NDP promises to hold a provincial referendum on adopting a system of proportional representation.
As one of the CBC commentators noted, 12 Green MLAs would have been elected if the province had a proportional system last night.
The Liberals Could Still Win A Majority
Clark could still win a majority. There is very little difference between the tallies in three ridings. If there are sufficient absentee votes to change the outcome in either Courtenay/Comox or Maple Ridge/Mission, the Liberals could obtain the 44 seats necessary for a majority.
Alternately, if the NDP hold on to both those seats and take Coquitlam/ Burke, the result is a 42-42 seat tie.
Illustration Credits: The Green Party Bus on Board A BC Ferry – Roy L Hales photo; Current Party standings, with the most likely probabilities after absentee ballots are counted – Roy L Hales; British Columbia’s three most vulnerable ridings – Roy L Hales