Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver listens from his new seat as an independent MLA as interim B.C. Green Party leader Adam Olsen questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 12, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver listens from his new seat as an independent MLA as interim B.C. Green Party leader Adam Olsen questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 12, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

As the B.C. legislature prepares to resume sitting in June after the disruption caused by COVID-19, former B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has roasted his former party colleagues for caring more about their own re-election prospects than the environment-focused party’s principles.

Weaver has vowed to continue supporting the B.C. NDP minority government since announcing in January he was leaving the B.C. Green Party as well as its leadership. But in a weekend comment on social media, he said that wasn’t the case after Premier John Horgan granted tax concessions for the development of the LNG Canada export project.

“My former colleagues Adam Olsen and Sonia Furstenau were afraid to stand up to the B.C. NDP with regard to the LNG development,” Weaver wrote on Twitter May 23. “I was ready to go to election, but in my opinion, they were more interested in re-election than they were about standing up for B.C. Green principles.”

Weaver was responding to Furstenau’s endorsement of a four-day work week proposal considered by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “This is an absolutely kooky idea,” Weaver told Furstenau, who is seeking the B.C. Green leadership in a contest that has been stalled by the coronavirus pandemic. “It is far more complicated than just a few sound bites and a tweet.”

Weaver led a B.C. Greens protest after Horgan helped secure the LNG Canada and Coastal Gaslink pipeline project by removing an LNG income tax imposed by former premier Christy Clark. Horgan also extended B.C. Hydro’s commercial electricity rate to LNG Canada’s Kitimat-based project and deferred provincial sales tax payment until it begins shipping liquefied natural gas to Asia.

A walkout of all three B.C. Green MLAs in April 2019 resulted in the opposition B.C. Liberals winning a vote to keep the project agreement with LNG Canada public.

“This is the B.C. NDP and B.C. Liberals’ legislation,” Weaver wrote on Twitter after the walkout. “They now walk hand in hand in giving handouts to a fossil fuel project that will be Canada’s largest source of emissions.”

RELATED: B.C. NDP loses vote after Greens walk out over LNG

RELATED: B.C. budget heads into unknown deficit with COVID-19

But the protest was symbolic, since the B.C. Liberals supported LNG Canada along with the NDP, resulting in support of 84 MLAs to three. And as Weaver quit the Green leadership and the party in January 2020, he released a letter to Horgan that reiterated his support for the minority government and the NDP’s CleanBC plan for reducing greenhouse gases that Weaver co-authored.

CleanBC includes such far-off goals as restricting new vehicle sales to zero-emission models by 2040. Before it was agreed to, Weaver argued that the LNG Canada project would reverse any greenhouse gas gains the province could make.

Weaver and the two remaining B.C. Green MLAs have supported the NDP minority in votes, including crucial “confidence” votes on spending that could result in the defeat of the government and an election call. Green MLAs were part of a one-day emergency session of the legislature March 25 that gave the Horgan government $50 billion in temporary spending authority to keep the B.C. government in operation, including a $5 billion contingency fund to cover cash payments to individuals that plunged the province into deficit.

The $40 billion LNG Canada project is considered the largest private sector investment in Canadian history, linking northeast B.C. and Alberta shale gas deposits with customers in China, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturelng canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Almond’s observatory in its new home on a Saanich lakeside. (Submitted/Cameron Burton)
Colwood stargazing dome makes a move to Saanich

The backyard structure finds a new home after 30 years

Chris Grzywacz, development agent for cannabis supplier Seed and Stone’s, holds products from the new Songhees Cannabis S + S store on April 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
First cannabis store opens on Songhees Nation, creates economic opportunity says chief

The Songhees Cannabis S + S had a soft launch at its 1502 Admirals Road location on April 20

Steven Manchur, who lives near the proposed site of supportive housing in Central Saanich on Prosser Road, said the province has misinformed the public about the site. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich residents protest supportive housing project

BC Housing rejects claim that project will lead to more crime

RCMP have appealed to the public for help identifying the man. (Black Press Media file image)
Police, dog unit called after man exposed himself at West Shore elementary school

West Shore RCMP credits students, aged 11 and 5, for seeking help

A convicted sex offender, whose crimes included offences against children, was arrested at Gonzales Beach after the man was spotted by an off-duty officer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Convicted sex offender arrested at Gonzales Beach

After committing crimes involving children, offender barred from public beaches, being in proximity to kids

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read