B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and Premier John Horgan announce that only zero-emission vehicles will be sold in B.C. by 2040, B.C. legislature, Nov. 20, 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and Premier John Horgan announce that only zero-emission vehicles will be sold in B.C. by 2040, B.C. legislature, Nov. 20, 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. VIEWS: The art of announcing things you haven’t done yet

Clinging to power, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver imagine a dynasty

For a fragile minority government that could lose power if next spring’s budget votes coincide with a bad flu season, the John Horgan “GreeNDP” folks certainly have a sweeping vision for your future.

Horgan and B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver rolled up in an electric Kia Soul the other day to announce that British Columbia will allow only zero-emission vehicle sales for its union-made roads – starting in 2040.

This proclamation came before General Motors used electric drivetrains as a pretext to rationalize its aging North American auto assembly operations by closing five plants. Perhaps our co-premiers will summon GM executives to set up a Volt plant here in carbon-free B.C. by, say, 2030?

The zero-emission car announcement was one of several events that didn’t get much attention, what with the Victoria cops visiting the legislature to perp-walk two senior administrators out, without a hint of a charge.

In October we had an announcement about B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, which isn’t done yet. The legislation won’t be released until February. What we got were bold targets, a 25 per cent reduction in poverty within five years, 50 per cent for child poverty.

At least Ottawa has finally figured out how to define the “poverty line,” after many years of public sector unions distorting cost-of-living statistics to paint B.C. in particular as a Third World hellhole.

The Justin Trudeau government needed a definition for its own Poverty Reduction Act, unveiled to national media fanfare in November. It’s nowhere near done. So far it’s mostly targets, 20 per cent below 2015 levels by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2030.

You may notice that poverty targets sound like the last two decades of greenhouse gas targets, which have an unbroken record of failure not only in B.C. and Canada, but around the world.

And yes, the GreeNDP have new climate targets. They accepted that the bad old government’s 2020 target won’t be met, and they have a new one for 2030. I’ll spare you the numbers, but it’s big, it’s bold and it’s off in the future. A new LNG-friendly B.C. Climate Action Strategy is imminent as well, or at least the announcement is.

RELATED: NDP sets new greenhouse gas emission targets

RELATED: NDP offers new tax breaks to LNG Canada

Horgan and Weaver inherited the highest carbon tax in North America, imposed during the now-ritually invoked 16 years of B.C. Liberal neglect. Finance Minister Carole James led an “axe the gas tax” campaign in the 2009 election, but now the planet’s future depends on her devotion to “fighting” “carbon pollution” with ever-increasing taxes diverted to things like giving away electricity for cars.

Horgan’s latest proclamation, announced to hundreds of Indigenous leaders at their annual meeting with cabinet ministers in Vancouver, is that B.C. is about to be the first jurisdiction in North America to embrace the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That’s the one that guarantees “free, prior and informed consent” for any development affecting aboriginal territory, something politicians keep assuring us is not a veto.

And of course it’s nowhere near done, either in Ottawa or Victoria. Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould gave a speech to the same “all chiefs” gathering in Vancouver two years ago, explaining this UN deal can’t simply be imposed on Canadian law.

She’s a lawyer and member of the Kwagiulth people of the B.C. coast. Her father Hemas Kla-Lee-Lee-Kla (Bill Wilson) was one of the architects of aboriginal rights in Canada’s Constitution Act of 1982.

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.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at that address for 43 years.

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

In years past in-person ceremonies have been held for International Women’s Day. This year the observance is going online on Monday, March 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (file photo)
Virtual ceremony for Women’s Day in Cowichan on Monday

Audrey George, manager of the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility, will be keynote speaker.

North Cowichan councillor Rob Douglas is advocating for a pilot project that would see the forest industry on Vancouver Island and the coast managed regionally. (File photo)
N. Cowichan councillor continues push for regional management of forestry

North Cowichan councillor wants pilot project established

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read