Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is interrupted by protesters as she introduces Environment Minister Catherine McKenna for an announcement of a conservation project, Oak Bay, Aug. 19, 2019. (Black Press Media)

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

The federal election campaign got off to an unofficial start here in Victoria with a rare appearance by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, to re-announce one of 49 new conservation projects established across the country in the Trudeau Liberals’ pre-election budget.

The beautiful seaside vista of Cattle Point in Oak Bay was an appropriate choice to kick off the chaos and lunacy that will pass for debate about how Canada can continue to develop its energy resources while somehow leading the world into a carbon-free future.

It’s a good spot to watch the daily Alaska crude tankers wind their way past the San Juan Islands to the massive refinery complexes at Anacortes, Cherry Point and the Ferndale Industrial Zone, the Washington state terminus of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline for 65 years.

McKenna was greeted by a handful of members of our protest community, with the obligatory plastic orca and banners. An elderly fellow declared himself a representative of the previously unknown “Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island” and announced he was going to use plastic zap straps to take McKenna into “protective custody.” This was to protect her from more violent protesters because, according to his sign, she’s a “climate criminal.”

The old guy was led away by police after local media uncritically lapped up the exciting visuals. It’s not clear to me whether this spin-off from a British road-blocking protest group wants to eliminate carbon fuel use in 12 years, or three, or three months or whatever, but get used to this kind of nonsense around federal campaign events.

RELATED: Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get ready

RELATED: Big construction projects to drive big migration to B.C.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May recently declared that it’s four years to the tipping point for Canada. Not this October’s election but the one after that, some kind of magical transformation has to take place so Canada can eliminate its CO2 emissions, a shift that would be overtaken by China’s industrial expansion in a few weeks. This will be a key topic of the leaders’ debates in the days ahead, but I predict no one will mention the China part.

Meanwhile in the real world, the Trans Mountain expansion got the go-ahead to resume work last week, as promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Builders were given one month to hire workers, set up sites and get some pipe into the ground by early October to deliver the project Trudeau’s government bought in order to complete it.

That’s not all that will be rolling at election time. LNG Canada and its gas pipeline across northern B.C. are gearing up, and it will soon be joined by Woodfibre LNG, with a liquefied natural gas export facility near Squamish.

Woodfibre began buying key equipment after the Trudeau government exempted Asian LNG components from its steel tariffs. That was denounced by the United Steelworkers, which demands that someone create a parallel industry in North America.

According to the latest economic forecast by Central 1 Credit Union, these mega-projects, along with the ongoing Site C dam, the Pattullo Bridge replacement and the Broadway subway in Vancouver, are going to drive the B.C. economy in the years to come. The group representing credit unions in B.C. and Ontario calculates that interprovincial migration is going to jump from 3,400 people this year to 12,000 in 2020, as skilled workers migrate.

Add that to thousands of international immigrants to B.C. each year, and you get a clearer picture of our impact on the environment and its direction.

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.

Just Posted

School District 70 proposes new school names, asks for public feedback

Board of education suggests new names for the district and two of its schools

BUSINESS BEAT: 24-hour gym planned for Port Alberni

Jims Clothes Closet renovation a vote of confidence for business

Tofino Bus closes bus depot in Port Alberni

Island-wide bus service switching to curbside pickup, drop-off, says parent company

Maquinna Elementary wins SD70 school track meet

Neill School finished second, and Wickaninnish Elementary from Tofino finished third

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ Indigenous educator tells court in case of smudging at Port Alberni school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo, case continues Wednesday

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

1 dead, 2 seriously injured in crash with elk on Hwy. 18 in Cowichan

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to the scene at about 8 p.m. Tuesday night

Most Read