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

With news that Santa won’t be coming to Cottonwood Centre this year, April Blais wanted to set up a photo op with the jolly old elf in her front yard. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack family blown away by response to Christmas light display

The Blais family has decked out their yard with holiday decor, collecting food bank donations

Abbotsford residents gather in the Clearbrook area on Monday to demonstrate against what they say is unfairt treatment by the Indian government to farmers in the Punjab region of that country. (Maan Sidhu photo)
Abbotsford residents gather to protest unfair treatment of India farmers

Locals believe new bills will devastate small farms, demand farmers be allowed to protest peacefully

An original piece of artwork by Rosie Laponder, was stolen along with various art supplies from Julie Ann’s Art and Custom Framing in Chilliwack on Nov. 28, 2020. (Submitted image)
Thieves steal original artwork, art supplies from Chilliwack store

‘It kind of makes you sick to your stomach,’ says store manager

The paraglider pilot, while attempting to free himself, dropped 30 feet and sustained serious injuries as Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue members worked quickly to extract him from the trees. They were able to get him to a waiting ambulance at the end of a nearby forest service road. (Contributed Photo/Dave Harder)
UPDATE: Rescued paraglider being treated for non-life threatening injuries

Pilot tried to self-rescue but sustained serious injuries in a 30-foot fall

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
UPDATE: Chilliwack man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

Long list of charges for Alberta man caught following morning of crime in Chilliwack

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Most Read