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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

Suspect in North Delta home invasion facing attempt murder charge

Blaine Robert Jackson, 37, of no fixed address, faces six charges in relation to this incident

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

Rooftop hatchlings ‘a nice addition’ to White Rock RCMP operations

Pair of seagull chicks hatched in ‘fenced playground’ on July 2

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read