Former B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair didn't like it much

BC VIEWS: The NDP’s great leap backward

Leap Manifesto is a betrayal of Alberta premier Rachel Notley, and a millstone around John Horgan's neck

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan distanced himself as best as he could from the federal party’s decision to dump moderate leader Thomas Mulcair and spend the next couple of years debating the far-left crackpottery known as the Leap Manifesto.

“It’s a document that I don’t embrace personally,” Horgan told reporters at the legislature. “I believe there are elements in the document that make sense, and there are elements that make no sense in British Columbia.

“So we won’t be proceeding under any Leap Manifesto in the next 12 months under my leadership.”

Horgan didn’t specify what part of the manifesto he likes. Presumably it’s not the part about tearing up Canada’s free trade agreements, converting food production to local agrarian collectives or unilaterally dismantling our energy industry and replacing it with community-owned windmills and solar panels.

It can’t be the demand to stop all pipelines, because while the B.C. NDP doesn’t like oil, Horgan is in favour of natural gas exports to Asia. In general, that is. He’s now on record with the federal regulator that he’s against the Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG project with a terminal at Prince Rupert.

The Leap Manifesto is the brainchild of anti-capitalist Toronto author Naomi Klein, with support from Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. Its campus-radical cluelessness is perhaps best summed up by the format, which consists of 15 “demands.”

Here’s demand number six: “We want high-speed rail powered by just renewables and affordable public transit to unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.”

This demand effectively declares all of rural Canada irrelevant. By even considering it, the NDP risks doing the same.

Here’s number 11: “We must expand those sectors that are already low-carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public interest media.”

And how will “we” pay all these state-funded ballerinas and bloggers? Financial transaction taxes, increased resource royalties (until resource industries are killed off), a “progressive” carbon tax, and that old standby from the Occupy tent, higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

It’s hard to tell now, but the NDP was created to give political power to industrial workers. Horgan was asked if the party’s effort to win back industrial workers could be hampered by this potential lurch to the urban left.

“The difference between my hardhat and the premier’s hardhat is that my hardhat has union labels on it, and hers doesn’t,” Horgan replied.

As this statement was being made, the B.C. and Yukon Building Trades Council was meeting in Victoria. Its president, Tom Sigurdson, would use that event to host B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers and blast Horgan for opposing Pacific Northwest LNG.

In the 2013 election, then-NDP leader Adrian Dix made a mid-campaign decision to come out against the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion. Since then the NDP has opposed construction of the Site C dam on the Peace River. Horgan is in favour of hydroelectric power, you understand. Just not this project at this time.

Perhaps the most stunning thing about the federal NDP’s fling with the Leap Manifesto was that it was staged in Edmonton. It came as a direct rejection of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who faces the grim reality of an oil and gas slump.

Notley has promised a carbon tax and the end of coal-fired power generation, moves that no NDP government has proposed, much less implemented.

Her own pretending-to-be-green party ignored and betrayed her.

Horgan wandering around in a hardhat is looking like a tougher sell every day.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: Twitter: @tomfletcherbc


Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Hope stylist holds hair-athon for a good cause

Shayla Ross donating all proceeds of $10 cuts to the food bank

Hope arena turns green for hockey tourney

A second attempt at green ice, with proper ice paint, after food colouring experiment last year

Project Hope celebrates first birthday

Also: lego-mania comes to town, lineup of all-female comedians entertains Friday

New Hope clothing store loses $6,700 after early morning break-in

Broke Buckle Clothing Company owners hold “dirty deeds” sale after loss

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Most Read