As the North Coast MLA, it is my privilege to work for the people of Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Haida Gwaii, the Central Coast and communities in between on issues that matter to them. In the past four years as your MLA, it has been an honour to hear diverse opinions and creative solutions to North Coast concerns.
Juxtapose this with Premier Christy Clark’s world, where those who disagree with her are labeled the “Forces of No” or a “Rag Tag” group of people. In Christy Clark’s world, anyone who disagrees with her agenda is not someone standing up for her constituents.
Not surprisingly, yet still disappointingly, Premier Christy Clark breezed into Prince Rupert last week to attend a BC Liberal soiree and partake in another day of name-calling.
But it’s hard to debate Christy Clark when she’s busy taking donations from a wealthy few so I thought I’d take this opportunity to correct the record on some of the things I do stand for locally.
I support AltaGas’ plan to export propane from Prince Rupert. It will create and preserve family supporting jobs and extract greater value from our oil and gas resources. This is especially important considering the downturn in coal commodity prices which directly impacted current jobs at Ridley Terminals Inc.
I support the Fairview container Port expansion. This next phase will create more good, union-wage jobs that provide long-term economic opportunities in our community. These family-supporting jobs are here to stay which is worth celebrating — much more so than the temporary job creation projects promoted by the Premier.
I am pleased that community concerns over Petronas’ plans for Lelu Island have prompted the company to explore options on Ridley Island which is already a brown field site. When NDP Leader John Horgan and I visited Lax Kw’alaams this August, the band council conveyed that moving the proposed terminal off Lelu Island was necessary for community approval. Both MP Nathan Cullen and I have also supported these efforts to promote an alternative site.
I am an immense proponent of the Tsimshian Access Project, first proposed by former North Coast MLA Dan Miller. This transportation link connecting Digby Island, Metlakatla, Lax Kw’aalams and Prince Rupert would have endless spinoff opportunities for the entire region including helping our airport to be much more competitive.
Christy Clark is partially right, there are some things that I do say “no” to.
I oppose increased tanker traffic on our coast. I stand with John Horgan when he says we can’t risk a massive oil spill, especially in the Great Bear Rainforest. Oddly enough, while Christy Clark was happy to visit the North Coast for the local BC Liberal campaign, she couldn’t find the time to visit Bella Bella in its hour of need when it was hit with an oil spill last summer.
I also oppose giving a billion dollar tax break to Christy Clark’s millionaire donors while sticking the rest of us with the bill. British Columbians have suffered with higher medical premiums, higher car insurance, higher hydro rates and higher ferry fares and these choices have negatively impacted the North Coast and B.C. economy.
Regardless of the name-calling and divisive spin by the Premier, I’m proud to stand with John Horgan and fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.
North Coast MLA