Christy Clark and climate change

What Prince William and Kate Really Need to Know About B.C.

Dear Will and Kate,

Welcome to beautiful British Columbia!

You are getting a pretty epic tour this week — from Victoria and Vancouver to Bella Bella (sorry about the rain) and Haida Gwaii. All of us watching the photo-ops are pretty jelly to be honest.

Here’s the thing though: I’ve noticed you’re hearing plenty of platitudes about “protecting the environment” from our good-looking leaders, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

I know you’re smart people, so I don’t want you to be fooled by their looks — or their words.

Don’t get me wrong: B.C. truly is a glorious place — the type of place you can fly over in a seaplane and easily think the wilderness will never end.

But it’s also one of the world’s last frontiers and the race is on to cut down our old-growth forests, to send more oil tankers into our ports, to build natural gas plants in our salmon estuaries and to flood our rivers for megadams.

Here are a few things I thought you ought to know about B.C. (and which I’m doubtful you’ll hear from Justin or Christy).

Trudeau Just Approved a Giant Carbon Bomb in B.C.

Catherine McKenna and Christy Clark

The federal government has issued an approval for the $36-billion Pacific Northwest liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal on Lelu Island on the B.C. coast, undermining its commitments to take action on climate change.

Tuesday’s decision — announced an hour behind schedule in Richmond, B.C., by a trio of ministers including Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna — means it will be virtually impossible for B.C. to meet its climate targets.

The announcement was seen as the litmus test on whether the Liberals would live up to its climate promises.

With today’s decision on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, Minister McKenna made it much more difficult for Canada to meet its climate targets and signaled that it’s OK for provinces to miss their own emissions targets,” said Matt Horne of the Pembina Institute.

“If built, Pacific NorthWest LNG will be one of the largest carbon polluters in the country and a serious obstacle to Canada living up to its climate commitments.”

Pacific Northwest LNG — wholly owned by the Malaysian government and boasting a questionable human rights record — lobbied the federal government 22 times between February 1 and April 21 this year, including meetings with McKenna and her chief of staff Marlo Raynolds.

What You Need To Know About the Impending Pacific Northwest LNG Decision

Pacific Northwest LNG - Justin Trudeau and Christy Clark

The federal Liberals are under fire on a number of environment fronts, most notably over the Site C dam and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

And rightfully so.

But sometime in the next few weeks, the federal Liberals will announce their verdict on whether the massive Pacific Northwest LNG export terminal can go ahead or not.

(In fact, given that the environment assessment has been wrapped up and submitted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, cabinet may already have met and made their decision.)

Tweet: #PNWLNG verdict will be a very real window into how seriously @JustinTrudeau takes climate change http://bit.ly/2czc8Wd #bcpoli #cdnpoliAnd this verdict will be a very real window into how seriously the federal government is going to take climate change, its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets and Paris Agreement obligations. It’s a very big deal.

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