Horgan tells environment minister to ‘employ every tool available’ to prevent Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

Photo: Kinder Morgan

Premier John Horgan released a mandate letter July 24 telling B.C.’s new environment Minister George Heyman he must “employ every tool available to defend B.C.'s interests in the face of the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and the threat of a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic on our coast.”

The mandate letters lay out the premier’s expectations for the NDP cabinet ministers, who were sworn in last week.

Energy minister mandate letter

In her new role as the Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources, Michelle Mungall, the MLA from Nelson-Creston, is expected to “make substantive progress” on the following priorities:

  • Create a roadmap for the future of B.C. energy that will drive innovation, expand energy-efficiency and conservation programs, generate new energy responsibly and sustainably, and create lasting good jobs across the province;

  • Reinvigorate the Innovative Clean Energy fund to boost investments in groundbreaking new energy technologies and climate change solutions;

  • Freeze B.C. Hydro rates while conducting a comprehensive review of the Crown corporation;

  • Immediately refer the Site C dam construction project to the B.C. Utilities Commission on the question of economic viability and consequences to British Columbians in the context of the current supply and demand conditions prevailing in the B.C. market;

  • Establish a BC Mining Jobs Task Force to create and sustain good jobs in this important industry;

  • Develop an improved and properly resourced approvals process to assess mining applications, and increase industry safety by establishing an independent oversight unit;

  • Ensure British Columbians benefit from liquefied natural gas projects by requiring proposals to meet the following four conditions:

i.  Proposals must include express guarantees of jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians;

ii.  Proposals must provide a fair return for our resource;

iii.  Proposals must respect and make partners of First Nations; and

iv.  Proposals must protect our air, land and water, including living up to our climate commitments.

The full letter can be accessed by clicking here.

Environment mandate letter

In addition to the Trans Mountain piece noted above, Heyman is expected to make substantive progress on the following priorities:

  • Renew the Climate Leadership Team within the first 100 days of your mandate;

  • Implement a comprehensive climate-action strategy that provides a pathway for B.C. to prosper economically while meeting carbon pollution reduction targets, including setting a new legislated 2030 reduction target and establishing separate sectoral reduction targets and plans;

  • Work with the Minister of Finance to implement an increase of the carbon tax by $5 per tonne per year, beginning April 1, 2018 to meet the federal government’s carbon-pricing mandate. Take measures to expand the carbon tax to fugitive emissions and to slash-pile burning;

  • Revitalize the Environmental Assessment process and review the professional reliance model to ensure the legal rights of First Nations are respected, and the public's expectation of a strong, transparent process is met.

For Heyman’s full mandate letter, click here.

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