Shawnigan’s Furstenau calling for minister to resign

Sonia Furstenau and Andrew Weaver are calling for the resignation of Environment Minister Mary Polak.

Sonia Furstenau and Andrew Weaver are calling for the resignation of Environment Minister Mary Polak.

Weaver, leader of the province’s Green Party, and Furstenau, director for Shawnigan Lake in the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Green candidate for the Cowichan Valley, made their demand at the B.C. legislature on Oct. 27.

They said Polak should resign due to her poor handling of the contaminated soil facility on Shawnigan Lake, and other environmental issues around the province.

Furstenau said she’s “frustrated” with the impacts provincial policy are having on her community.

“In Shawnigan, we are experiencing first-hand the downside of this government’s insistence on ‘getting to yes’ at all costs,” she said.

“The people of Shawnigan are suffering from ongoing stress and anxiety while the ministry allows for ongoing non-compliance with the contaminated landfill permit, and compounding failures at the site.”

Weaver said he’s not calling for the minister’s resignation lightly.

“I have spent my career in the climate science field advising provincial, federal and international governments on their climate policies,” he said.

“Never in my life have I witnessed a government using such outrageous rhetoric to describe efforts to protect the environment.

In response, Polak said in a statement that the government’s work to protect the environment has been extensive.

“Whether overhauling the century-old Water Act, launching a first-ever provincial spill-response plan, legislating emission limits on LNG facilities or maintaining the highest and broadest carbon prices in North America, B.C. is far ahead of the rest of Canada,” Polak said.