Here at The Common Sense Canadian we published, in great detail, beginning in May, the moves the BC Liberals had done behind the scenes to forfeit our Province's ability to review, assess and decide on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project.
In particular, we focused in like a laser on the Equivalency Agreement (EA) the Liberals initiated and signed in secret back in 2010.
We explained how the Minister did the highly unusual and unorthodox move of giving up his ministerial powers as clearly outlined in section 27 of the relevant act, by assigning them to the senior staff of the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). This bold move was an obvious attempt to avoid the political scrutiny that occurs when a Minister of the Crown exercises executive privilege to circumvent standard process.
We went on to point out how this was done at the same time his government was accepting accolades from the green communityfor the Clean Energy Act, and the contentious carbon tax.
We underscored how the EA required public input from stakeholders and publishing in the Gazette, all of which some how escaped the standard scrutiny these processes typically attract. We pointed to the work of Robyn Allanwho was courageous enough to publish an open letter demanding the Premier review such unbecoming behaviour and revoke the Equivalency Agreement (EA).
All of which was met with stunning silence on behalf of Ms. Clark and her lame duck government. She treated the whole ordeal as if the agreement never existed as did the minister responsible.
We asked you, the reader, to follow up on the issue and contact the government and demand accountability.
The BC Liberals continued to ignore the pleas.
Now, after considerable due diligence it seems the Official Opposition has thoroughly aired the issue through its team of legal beagles and finally we have seen a move on the issue. Adrian Dix has declared that within one week of being elected premier he will in fact revoke the agreementand move on setting up a "Made in BC" process to review the proposed pipeline.
No word yet on what that means for the other three projects outlined in that Equivalency agreement but this bold move is certainly a step in the right direction.
The BC Liberal government is caught flat footed now and must do more than cast aspersions.
The whole sordid affair of how this agreement came about and why they moved to close the door on our Province's ability to make decisions about the use of our land and coast needs to be unearthed. Their work has virtually tied the hands of British Columbian stakeholders, from First Nations to coastal communities and through the many people who rely on tourism and fisheries .
In fact, every British Columbian has a stake in this decision and the BC Liberals need to explain why they gave our power away, behind the scenes and in secret.