Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau announces her candidacy for leadership of the B.C. Green Party in Victoria, Jan. 27, 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

B.C. Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau has launched her expected bid to replace Andrew Weaver as leader, taking aim at the NDP energy policies her three-member caucus has supported.

Furstenau wasted no time in targeting the B.C. NDP government for carrying on the B.C. Liberal policy of what she called “massive subsidies” to a liquefied natural gas industry, and a third dam on the Peace River that will help to electrify operations in the vast northeast B.C. shale gas fields.

With Weaver now sitting as an independent MLA and Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen serving as interim leader, Furstenau emerged Monday as the first leadership candidate. Staging her announcement in a trendy shared-work space in downtown Victoria, her remarks reflected Weaver’s advice that the all-Vancouver Island Green caucus needs a Lower Mainland leader. Urban issues emerged as her central theme, although her knowledge of Metro Vancouver bridges is a work in progress.

“We spent $4 million to take the tolls off the Port Mann and Lower Mainland bridges [Golden Ears Bridge], while much needed transit infrastructure that will reduce congestion and emissions goes unbuilt,” Furstenau said. “Instead, for three quarters of that amount, we could build the Broadway subway extension to UBC. For half, we could supply 1,000 electric buses. For about a third, we could build a SkyTrain from Fleetwood to Langley.”

RELATED: B.C. Greens campaign against removing bridge tolls

RELATED: Interim B.C. Greens leader visits Wet’suwet’en camps

Furstenau targeted the central industrial strategy of both the previous B.C. Liberal government and the current NDP minority under Premier John Horgan, development of liquefied natural gas exports across northern B.C. The Site C dam, now more than half built, has become an NDP project that promises to make LNG development cleaner by powering upstream gas extraction and processing.

“We could stop putting good money after bad with the Site C dam and move to a modern system of small-scale, distributed renewable power that would be far more efficient, far less environmentally destructive and create economic opportunities that were more evenly distributed throughout the province,” Furstenau said.

Weaver, the first Green elected to provincial-level office in North America, moved up his plans to retire as party leader this month as he deals with an illness in his family. He has indicated that while he will complete his term as an independent Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA, he intends to meet the terms of the “confidence and supply” agreement with the NDP to vote in favour of its budget this spring and keep the minority government going.

Weaver spoke out repeatedly against Horgan’s decision to drop tolls from the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, a popular move that many credit for the NDP seat gains in the Surrey and Maple Ridge areas that resulted in the current government.


@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

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Potholes in Vanderhoof recurring due to weather, says district office

Potholes in Vanderhoof are being fixed, but ‘northern winter weather’ is the… Continue reading

Northern Health recommends self-quarantine for people returning from Hubei

The healthcare provider said it isn’t neccessary for healthy children to wear face masks

Wet’suwet’en return to camps near Houston, Coastal GasLink workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Still no contract for Canada Post workers

Vanderhoof postal workers will wear black every Friday to raise awareness about their situation

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Most Read