What a difference an election campaign makes.
Not too long ago, city councillor Jennifer Rice and her bevy of environmentalist supporters would have you believe gas pipelines become oil pipelines. A vociferous vocal opponent to the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline, Rice has always raged against oil coming to the North Coast.
If you believe what she was selling then, you have to believe now, she seems to be backing away from that stance, or at least selling out to win an election.
“I have never opposed LNG, but I am always going to stick to my values that it needs to be done responsibly and respectfully. That includes paying attention to the needs and desires of First Nations that are impacted. I also believe we have to be careful. There are now nine or 10 proposals between here and Kitimat and I don’t think that is realistic,” she said at a kinda-all-candidates meeting earlier this month, adding that the market will decide how many happen.
“The BC NDP believes we have room for LNG on the North Coast, but it needs to be done responsibly. We have agreed though, should we be elected, we will immediately look at the upstream effects of fracking and examine the potential impacts from that.
Translation: Let’s tell ’em what they want to hear now… we can delay the hell out of LNG later.
What seems to be clear, Rice has now opened her NDP: Winning an election for dummies textbook.
Lesson No. 1: Overtly oppose LNG in the North — the economic lynchpin to any future prosperity — and no matter how screwed up the B.C. Liberals are, you could lose this riding.
But true to form, Rice has tossed in either a little scaremongering or just plain inaccuracy.
There are not nine or 10 proposals. There are five with an expression of interest in a sixth — Grassy Point. And for those keeping score: Kitimat LNG, Douglas Channel Energy, LNG Canada in Kitimat, and the B.G. Group in Prince Rupert, Pacific Northwest in Port Edward and now, one maybe in Grassy Point.
Well, she was half right, good for a D grade.
It will be interesting over the campaign to see environmentalist Rice hopefully learn the difference between radical opposition and responsible governance.
Or, as her federal party-goers have determined, if they want win, if they want to govern, they have to learn how to move to the middle.