When Premier John Horgan made his Dec. 11 announcement that his NDP government was going ahead with the Site C hydroelectric dam project, it wasn’t a surprise.
The decision was all about politics, money, jobs and smoke-and-mirrors tricks.
Back in May 2014, former NDP leader Adrian Dix had a double-digit lead in the polls going into the provincial election.
Dix was a bit arrogant and flippant going into the campaign with the big lead, but he was also carrying some baggage.
He hammered away at then Premier Christy Clark’s golden goose pipe dream – liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Clark hopped on a bus and toured the province with two things in her mantra.
The B.C. Liberals were going to fix all of the province’s economic woes by transporting and selling the magic elixir to Asia Pacific countries and provide British Columbians good-paying jobs, pay of the province’s debt and build a great pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so we could have better education, medical services and a better life in general.
The second part was an old phrase: “It’s better dancing with the devil [B.C. Liberals] you know than the devil [NDP] you don’t know.”
As the lead vaporized during the campaign, Dix admitted he would look at the LNG project if elected.
Then during a televised debate, his baggage was exposed and Dix broke down and pleaded for forgiveness.
Game over, Clark won handily, Dix was kicked to the curb and Horgan became the new Leader of the NDP.
As years went by in her mandate, Dix was correct – the LNG pipe dream blew up.
Clark needed a big money, big jobs project going into the next election, so she turned her efforts to the Site C hydroelectric dam.
Horgan started hammering away at Site C because it would put the province further into debt and place it on the backs of our grandchildren. It would also step all over the rights of Indigenous Peoples and would flood good arable land British Columbians would need in the future.
It was enough to get the NDP within two seats of the Clark’s crew.
Then Horgan sold the bill of goods to Andrew Weaver and his three Green Party seats – all dead set against Site C.
It was enough to give Horgan the minority government he has today.
When he made the Dec. 11 decision, it was rife with danger.
He had turned his back on members of his own caucus, the Green Party caucus and First Nations people.
The Premier’s road from this point forward will be rocky and full of land mines.
Quesnel Cariboo Observer