Friday, September 30, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, September 30, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

For second time in a month, B.C. Court of Appeal overrules trial ruling concerning confidential police informants
British Columbia nears decision on CPP improvements
Christy Clark: Just Another Fool 'Who Tried to Hustle the East'?
Deep Divisions Over LNG
William and Kate get education on sustainability in trip to Haida Gwaii
Haida leader asks B.C. Premier to stay away for royal visit
The politics behind the go-ahead for the LNG project in B.C.
Sunshine coast residents angered by public-to-private long term care switch
LNG approval leaves B.C. mayors divided over pipelines
Petronas is not considering sale of proposed terminal, B.C. government says
'This is the unceded territory of the Haida': royal visit viewed as a meeting of equals
Pacific NorthWest LNG reminds us of NDP's Alberta vs. B.C. nuances
School superintendent sends 'letter of concern' about harassment, bullying at Vancouver School Board
Councillors cool to Fassbender's call for debate on municipal worker's pay
Climate Change brings water worries

Ottawa Observations: Friday, September 30, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for September 30, 2016.

Ottawa's complicated oil and gas balancing act: building industry, protecting climate
Liberals spend $200,000 for advice on delivering campaign pledges
Assisted-reproduction law to get rules update: Health Canada
Ottawa non-committal on social-housing funds for cities
Liberals to hold Commons vote next week on ratifying Paris climate accord
Federal spending up as Ottawa runs $1.8-billion deficit in July
Rona Ambrose expensed $4,000 to break lease with move to Stornoway
The politics behind the go-ahead for the LNG project in B.C.
AFN national chief Perry Bellegarde walks tightrope on divisive pipeline projects
Pot-smoking young men had the most to say to Ottawa about marijuana legalization
Federal books in $2.8B deficit over first four months of  fiscal year
Dress code guide tells female air cadets not to reveal 'developing bits'
On 20th anniversary, experts say it's time to review Arctic Council mandate
Secret shortlist adds to uproar in Atlantic Canada over Supreme Court nominees
Best to check the math when provinces jostle for health care cash
Monsef shouldn't be above the law
Monsef questions not going away
Fiscal stimulus hasn't revived the economy, but Liberals know what to do - more stimulus
Trudeau government announces 'rational' shift in Arctic policy, will seek to work with Russia
Canada's jilted partners languish as peacekeeping fetish feeds love affair with the UN
Bureaucrats accused of blaming workers for fouled-up pay system as DND staff get training deadline
All vs. all: As Conservative leadership race wears on it's eroding into personal attacks
Canadian Studies profs hold conference on how to stay critical without Harper around

Province releases Prince Rupert Air Shed Study; states region can accommodate industrial growth

A long awaited study in the Prince Rupert Air shed was released by the provincial government on Friday morning, providing details in to examination of potential effects of industrial air emissions related to potential industrial projects for the North Coast.

The review examined a number of scenarios including the prospect of six proposed LNG terminals, existing and proposed Prince Rupert Port Authority developments and related rail and marine transportation.

According to a statement from the BC Government any potential impacts related to emissions will be manageable through the permitting and regulatory processes and are said to not significantly affect the health of residents or the environment.

The statement adds that the Province, along with industry will continue to monitor air, water, soil and vegetation to ensure that the resources of the region are protected.

The area that was reviewed stretches from the offshore approaches to Prince Rupert harbour to the west, the Kitkatla area to the south, just above the Alaska boundary north of Lax Kw'alaams and inland to the east along the Skeena River.

The Prince Rupert Airshed Study released September 30th examined
a large section of the North Coast from Lax Kw'alaams to Kitkatla and east
along the Skeena River

Among some of the recommendations that conclude the Study.

Follow the Guidelines for Air Quality Dispersion Modelling in British Columbia using the same meteorological data sets and same regional source emissions inventory.

Conduct critical loads analysis as outlined in the BC MOE Guidance for the Assessment of Acidification and Eutrophication of Aquatic Ecosystems and the Critical Load Screening Guidance for Acidification and Eutrophication of Terrestrial Ecosystems.

When assessing potential human health impacts, complement the characterization according to the CCME management levels with histograms or similar characterizations of the relative frequency of concentration estimates without background levels.

Undertake baseline studies for:

air pollutants,  deposition of nitrogen, sulphur and other important parameters for the assessment of critical loads,

vegetation, in order to document the composition, distribution, and health of the sensitive plant communities and ecosystems;

soil sampling and geochemical analysis for regions with deposition predicted to exceed the critical load of acidity;

lakes, to fill gaps in coverage of lakes in the northern part of the study region, as well as on various islands;

When development proceeds, conduct coordinated monitoring in the following areas:

air quality and deposition at the local level with collocated surface meteorological stations, particularly monitoring to confirm the magnitude and spatial extent of the predicted (modelled) concentrations and deposition, particularly in areas identified with predicted exceedances;

vegetation monitoring and assessment (with a focus on sensitive lichens); soil geochemical analysis to confirm critical load estimates;

lakes and streams within the predicted plume of deposition particularly north of Digby Island, and in the Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Metlakatla, Dodge Cove, and Lax Kw’alaams drinking water supply areas.

You can review the full report here.

Friday's release of information comes following a number of requests from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice who had been seeking updates on the progress of the report for a number of months now.

The MLA regularly inquired as to when residents of the region could anticipate being able to examine the document.

More notes on Provincial politics can be found  on our Legislature archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

UBCM Convention comes to an end as municipal leaders wrap up week of networking

Members of Prince Rupert Council and City staff taking some time from the
week of political discussion to get in a photo on the Lawn of the Legislature

(photo from City of Prince Rupert Facebook page)

There haven't been many dispatches from members of the North Coast delegation to this years UBCM convention in Victoria, though from the few items of interest provided by Councillor Blair Mirau and Mayor Lee Brain, it does appear that members of the local group have had a full week of workshops, seminars and speeches to take in during the week long festival of municipal politics.

The five days covered a lot of material for community leaders from across British Columbia, with two days dedicated towards resolutions provided by a number of municipal governments prior to the annual convention, held this year at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Much of the policy work took place in the early days of the convention and some of the results from the Resolutions files can be reviewed below, as UBCM officials have been providing a rolling scorecard of sorts as to how each submission fared at the discussion level.

September 30th Resolutions Discussions
September 29th Resolutions Discussions
September 28th Resolutions Discussions

Friday delivered a major announcement from the Federal Government with 35 upgrades to water and waste water systems in the province listed as set to benefit from Federal and provincial funding, though much of the Northwest does not appear to have made this first wave of projects, with only projects in Burns Lake and Fort St. James listed in Friday's update.

The Federal announcement from today does note that additional projects will be identified following a new intake process which will come to an end on November 23rd.

The convention also provided an opportunity for political leaders from the federal and provincial level to address the gathering, with both Premier Christy Clark and NDP opposition leader John Horgan making use of their time at UBCM to chart the course for the upcoming provincial election.

The photo album from UBCM highlights the meetings and discussion sessions that provincial cabinet members held with municipal officials during the course of the convention.

Featured in the archive so far, digital keepsakes for Port Edward, Terrace, Kitimat and Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District some of the communities which have seen photos posted to this point.

Snapshots of any get togethers with the Prince Rupert representatives seem to still be in the developing room however, with none added to the list as we hit the post button on our item.

You can check here for any updates to the roll call of communities as they are posted to the UBCM photo site. ( All photos courtesy of UBCM photo feed )

Port Edward representatives meeting with Premier Clark
Port Edward Council with Minister Peter Fassbender
Some members of the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional
District group meeting with Minister Fassbender
Terrace Council members with Minister Peter Fassbender
Kitimat Officials sitting in for a session with Premier Clark

 When it comes to any Prince Rupert participation at UBCM, while there were no official civic updates through the City of Prince Rupert website, Councillor Blair Mirau offered up a glimpse at the fast face of the week through contributions to his Facebook page and twitter feeds through the week.

The councillor offered up occasional snapshots of some of the many events that he was attending, while Mayor Brain highlighted an award for the Prince Rupert Airport and announced that will be adding to his Mayoralty duties, taking up a new position as a member of the Municipal Climate Council.

Prior to their departure for Victoria, Council members had not provided much of a preview as to what they hoped to achieve, or to take away from their week in the provincial capital. However, there will be an opportunity for an update at the first public council session for October that comes up on the 11th of next month.

At that October meeting, those Council members who made the trek down to Victoria will have some time to share their thoughts on what they have discovered from other municipal leaders in the province, or share some of their observations from their sessions with provincial officials.

As for what those other communities across British Columbia are talking about from their five days of discussion, check our UBCM Talking Points archive for background on some of the issues and items of interest from the 2016 convention.

With the gavel now having sounded to bring UBCM 2016 to an end, municipal politicians will be working on their agenda plans for 2017 when the convention returns to its home base of Vancouver.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Reports suggest that Petronas is pondering sale of stake in Pacific NorthWest project

Days after receiving approval from the Federal Government for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, reports out of Malaysia are suggesting that the global energy giant Petronas is giving some thought to selling its majority share in the proposed multi billion dollar terminal project.

Reuters posted an article to its international website today that outlines the scope of the discussion that is taking place inside the Petronas board room these days as the company weighs such issues as global gas prices, costs and financial returns with its global ambitions.

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project is one of the largest foreign investments that the state owned Malaysian company has embarked on in recent years.

According to the Reuters report, the company has been considering selling its share of the project for months, though they apparently have a fall back plan should they not receive sufficient interest in their sale proposal.

In the Reuters report, its suggested that the company is considering plans to put the project "on ice" for the time being, with hopes of seeing gas prices turn around to provide more financial certainty for the development.

Reuters also notes that Petronas is offering no public comment on the potential sale or deferral of the project at this time.

Other investors in the proposed development are from China, India, Japan and Brunei.

You can review the Reuters article here.

In August, Petronas had noted that it would further review its Canadian plans once the Federal Government had delivered its decision on the fate of the North Coast project, a short statement from the company on Wednesday reinforced those plans.

Canadian and other news providers picked up on the Reuters theme today as well, providing more background on the latest twist to the long running Petronas story.

Petronas weighs sale to exit $27-billion B.C. LNG project: sources
Petronas faces US$27 billion question after Ottawa approves LNG project
Petronas can still thrive with PNW LNG approval despite potential sell of stakes: FSL for LNG founder
Report: Petronas considering sale of PNWLNG stake

Our overview of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found on this archive page which has been following the progress and news developments for the project since it was first announced.

Update: As the day moved forward, the British Columbia Government responded to the early  morning reports out of Asia, with BC media outlets reporting that the Provincial Government had spoken with Petronas and was reassured about the status of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

Adding that they anticipate a statement from Petronas to provide their view on the Reuters story of the overnight period.

As of late Friday afternoon however, no updates have been posted to the Malaysian energy giant's website.

September 30 -- Petronas denies report it wants to bail from LNG project
September 30 -- Petronas is not considering sale of proposed LNG terminal, B. C. government says

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Prince Rupert Mayor to join BC Mayors Climate Control Council

Mayor Lee Brain and
Smithers Mayor Taylor
Bachrach taking a break
from UBCM work in Victoria

(photo from Mayor Brain's
Facebook Page)

As the UBCM convention wraps up in Victoria today, a stream of announcements is starting to gain traction as municipal leaders outline some of their work at the annual gathering.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain had some news to share with North Coast residents on Thursday, highlighting through his Facebook page of a new step in his political career, joining the group of British Columbia Mayors that make up the municipal led initiative on climate change.

The opening on the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council became available earlier this month when Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold announced his resignation from municipal politics, leaving a spot open with the collective as the municipal leaders took to their work this week.

With his addition to the municipal organization, Mayor Brain will join Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach in representing communities of the Northwest on the ten member Council.

In his update for residents, Mayor Brain notes that he will bring some of the work currently underway in Prince Rupert to the municipal group, Mayor Brain is currently chair of the City of Prince Rupert's 2030 sustainable City Committee, part of the Hays 2.0 Vision plan which features a number of sustainable concepts.

Formed in September of 2010, the organization made up of mayors and council members from large and small communities across the province is designed to move the concept of climate action forward.

The focus of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council is to lead, educate and engage residents across the province in issues of climate action in their community.

You can learn more about their work here.

Further notes on developments at UBCM can be found on our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

NDP's John Horgan offers up a shift in provincial/municipal relations for UBCM members

The week that is turned over to speeches, presentations and workshops continued into its fourth day yesterday and the focus once again turned to the provincial scene as the opposition NDP had its time to bend some ears at the UBCM convention

One day following BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark's address to the delegates, NDP leader John Horgan had his time at the podium, providing a narrative for the province's municipal leaders that charted the future should the NDP form a government in May of 2017.

In his comments for the convention, Mr. Horgan talked of a new relationship, one which embraces a partnership with municipalities and ends what he called the divisive politics of the Liberals under Christy Clark.

“Instead of listening, learning and embracing partnership with local governments, our premier continues to deny, deflect and download costs,” ... “I want to restore people’s faith in the ability of government to make life better, to make change happen, to invest in our future, to come to the table with new ideas, [and] to make our economy work for all of us, not just a fortunate few,”

NDP Leader John Horgan covered a fair amount of
territory in his UBCM address on Thursday
Photo from UBCM Flckr feed)

Through the address the NDP leader put a significant focus on transportation infrastructure, telling delegates that an NDP government would make a four lane highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border one of its priorities for investment.

As well for those delegates from the population heavy Lower mainland, he touted an increase in provincial funding for transportation and transit improvements increasing provincial participation to 40 percent.

Horgan also touched on education concerns in the province, noting that the NDP would offer a different approach to what he suggested were the pre-election funding motives of the Liberal party.

Countering the flow of sudden burst of financial resources recently delivered by the Liberals, with  an NDP plan to deliver  stable and predictable funding, designed he said to allow for School Districts to address issues in their communities.

For the municipal leaders in attendance, Horgan also outlined a new approach when it comes to the delivery of community gaming, noting that an NDP government would improve the current system to provide for long-term, flexible funding to local governments.

Some of his key talking points from Thursday's address can be reviewed here.

Should Mr. Horgan be successful in the upcoming campaign he will have the marquee speaking time at the 2017 convention and members attending the Vancouver gathering will have an opportunity to gauge how fast a track the NDP leader will be on when it comes to his promised new direction.

You can review our notes on the week of UBCM from our archive page here.

More background on provincial politics is available on our Legislature archive page or through our political portal Darcy McGee.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Foreign-buyers tax too little, too late, Vancouver mayor says
B.C. Premier promises 'significant' new funds for post-secondary tech education
British Columbia invests in addictions program to tackle drug overdose crisis
For many, home ownership in Vancouver will never be affordable, mayor says
Vancouver Mayor says taxing empty homes will boost rentals
Financial wrongdoing rare 'tragedy' for B.C. PACs
2nd Surrey school has parent advisory council bank account drained
Vancouver begins public consultation on proposed empty home tax
LNG project's 190 conditions 'not onerous,' says environmental assessment expert
LNG mega-project incompatible with B.C.'s greenhouse gas target, says expert
NDP leader John Horgan vows to boost transit in Metro Vancouver
LNG: Up, up and delay
Political posturing over fine print on indigenous rights
B.C. NDP Leader pledges infrastructure plan
LNG dreams far from reality
B.C. cities seek policing cost reform at UBCM
B.C. Greens Red Light Two Prominent Would-be Candidates
In September, Did the Liberals Out-Harper the Conservatives?
BC Fish Farm Sues Alexandra Morton for Trespassing
George Orr: The B.C. Greens cut short my political career without any explanation

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for September 29, 2016.

Mayors to pressure Ottawa to address affordable housing crisis
Quebec's health minister offers a dose of grim reality
Military planning to provide air transport for French mission in Africa
Feds, provinces to review ways to reduce cycling fatalities on city streets
Provinces mount pressure on Ottawa to boost health funding
Canada and Russia to hold joint Arctic conference next month
Approval of B.C. LNG project keeps Trudeau's grand bargain together
What's left for the Centre-Left?
Canada is treading water on a key health care measure, a new report shows
PM's top adviser compares Maryam Monsef criticism to U.S. 'birther' movement
Man in Trudeau selfie linked to RCMP terror investigation
Dominic Leblanc under fire for agreeing to attend private event hosted by law, communications firms
Jane Philpott says 3% a 'reasonable escalator' for health spending
Ontario MP Erin O'Toole to explore Conservative leadership bid
Federal budget watchdog says spending hit highest mark in 6 years
Canada needs a national price on carbon to meet emissions target: report
B.C. LNG project the latest Harper scheme to win Liberal nod
What's next for Pacific NorthWest LNG project? 4 questions answered
Canadian delegation arrives in Israel for Shimon Peres funeral
Conservatives took payroll training responsibilities away from Phoenix creator IBM
Canadian suspect in terror probe took selfie with Justin Trudeau
Ottawa studies ways to ease Syrian refugee integration
Liberals can't have it both ways on anti-terror law
What the LNG pipeline approval tells us about Trudeau's Liberals
Mastermind behind Kellie Leitch's Tory leadership campaign defends contentious tactics
Double health-care cash before attaching conditions, Quebec health minister tells Ottawa
LNG approval part of broader Liberal strategy to get more pipelines built
Former cabinet minister Erin O'Toole officially exploring leadership bid for federal Conservatives
Candidates for PQ leadership stuck fighting old battles while the world passes them by
In September, Did the Liberals Out-Harper the Conservatives?
Justin Trudeau lands in Israel for Shimon Peres' funeral

Voice of BC: Mayor's Panel

In the fall return for the program, Lyn Hall Mayor of Prince George and Richard Atwell, Mayor of Saanich  join host Vaughn Palmer to discuss the UBCM sessions and the lessons that the first time Mayors have taken in.

September  29

Trudeau Liberals feel the heat from NDP and Conservatives on Pacific NorthWest LNG

Prime Minister Trudeau faced some
strong comments of Tuesday's LNG
announcement from both opposition
parties during Question Period
The day after it's controversial LNG announcement approving the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal with its 190 conditions, the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau found itself on the defensive back in Ottawa.

Opposition members, with some very different interpretations as to how the Liberals handled the file, clearly had been looking forward to the Wednesday session of Parliament, as they fired off a number of inquiries towards the Prime Minister, as well as to the Environment and Natural Resources Ministers.

The Wednesday afternoon Question Period provided the first opportunity for discussion of the Pacific NorthWest LNG approval and the bear pit that the daily question opportunity provides for did not disappoint, as the Prime Minister and his Cabinet found themselves taking shots from all sides of the house.

Things started off in a rather calm fashion with Bob Zimmer the MP for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, using the Members Statements portion of the session to applaud the decision and calling for the Liberal Government to continue to work towards moving it forward.

However, when they got to the twenty minute mark of the session, the heavy hitters of the opposition benches weighed in, with NDP leader Tom Mulcair outlining the concerns that the New Democrats had with entire process, while the interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose observed that with 190 conditions in place, the Liberals may have set the table for a decision that could see the Malaysian energy giant Petronas choose to not to move forward with the project.

The Conservatives Rona Ambrose
led off her questions with thoughts on
the Pacific NorthWest LNG announcement
Ms. Ambrose led off the Question Period attack, providing the Tories view of Tuesday's announcement, noting that even with Tuesday's events there won't be any jobs in place until there are shovels in the ground, calling for the Prime Minister to show leadership on the issue to make sure that the project gets underway.

She further outlined the Conservatives concerns over the approach the Liberals are taking, observing that they are providing for yet another level of consultation before any progress will be found.

The Prime Minister countered that argument by noting that after ten years of failed Conservative policies, the Liberals were actually finding progress when it comes to moving the project forward.

NDP leader Tom Muclair also
delivered a strong rebuke of the
Liberal announcement of Tuesday
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair took aim at the Liberals and noted that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were not showing much respect for First Nations.

Observing that the trio of Cabinet Ministers that were part of the announcement of Tuesday's event, did not even travel to the area where the project is to be built to deliver their news.

Mr. Mulcair further noted that the Liberals had basically followed former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's blue print when it comes to the environment and pipeline development.

In response to some of the concerns directed the government's way, the Environment Minister Catherine McKenna touched on some of the factors related to the announcement on Pacific NorthWest LNG, taking a question from MP Zimmer that asked why the Liberals had introduced a 'poison pill' approach to their decision.

To knock down that impression, Minister McKenna retraced the range of consultations that the Federal government conducted and pointed to the 190 conditions that were introduced as part of the approval process and would ensure that the industry would move forward in a sustainable way

Those conditions continued to raise flags for the Prince George MP who called the Liberal approach to development as "one step forward and two steps backward".

The Liberal's plan for resources also provided for concerns from Alberta MP Shannon Stubbs who noted that just because they provided conditional approval doesn't mean that the Liberals actually intend to have the project built.

Adding that while the majority of the assessment took place under the process put in place by the Conservatives, she has a number of concerns over the nature of the Liberal government's plans for multiple regulatory changes that could affect other energy projects.

The Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr picked up the theme from there, noting that each energy project will be judged on their own merits and that they are not all the same, he also pointed to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project as one that will not only deliver jobs to the industry, but bring a pipeline to tidewater for the first time in ten years.

You can sit in on the full Question Period from the ParlVu archive service, the questions for the Prime Minister come up between the 14:20 and 14:30 portion of the session.

The participation of the Environment and Natural Resources Minister on Question Period took place from the 14:56 to 15:01 mark.

As we noted yesterday, while he wasn't in the House of Commons on Wednesday for Parliamentary proceedings, Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, who was in Victoria for electoral reform events, did expand on his first impressions regarding Tuesday's Federal announcement, providing a fairly strong reproach to the Liberal approval.

Wednesday the MP also provided a clip of NDP leader Mulcair's questions for the Prime Minister focusing his attention on the NDP leader's call for the need for greater consultation with regional First Nations.

The Green Party didn't get an opportunity to take their concerns to the Liberal government during the Question Period, but earlier in the Day, Green Party leader Elizabeth May outlined the disappointment and anger that her Party had over Tuesday's approval announcement.

You can follow more items related to the Pacific NorthWest project from our archive page here, further background on the work of Mr. Cullen in Ottawa can be examined from our House of Commons archive.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Premier Clark test drives a few electoral themes for UBCM gathering

Premier Clark addressing the UBCM
convention on Wednesday
The Wednesday afternoon session of the UBCM convention was turned over to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, who took to the stage at the Victoria Convention Centre shortly after 2:15 PM to deliver the BC Government's annual address to the group.

This year with the Premier's schedule seemingly ever changing to keep pace with events related to the visit of the Royal Couple and their family, her speech came a few days earlier than the usual Friday morning spotlight that is normally provided, which in most years effectively brings the convention to a close.

It wasn't too long into the speech that a few themes for the upcoming Provincial election of 2017 began to work their way into her comments, with much talk about the middle class and the need to provide opportunities for them, as well as to remove barriers for those on social assistance looking to transition back into the work force or to seek training to improve their opportunities.

Other themes through the address included proposals to address the housing issues of the Province, initiatives related to Clean Water and Wastewater and the need to address some of the growing drug concerns in British Columbia, with a focus on the current crisis related to fentanyl.

As the speech rolled out, the BC Government was delivering background information on some of the key themes that the Premier was providing, you can review a few of their notes on those below:

B.C. commits over $148 million to Clean Water and Wastewater Fund

Through the half hour, the Premier noted some of the challenges ahead for the province, with forestry which she noted was still a lifeblood for many communities in B.C.  facing a number of issues, concerns that the government will continue to work on to ensure that it remains a key element of the BC economy.

She also noted some of the new industrial growth in the province, with a particular focus on the tech sector which the Premier observed was continuing to grow in many areas of British Columbia beyond the Lower Mainland.

For the Northwest there were a couple of moments of recognition, the first coming with the Premier offering a quick review of Tuesday's announcement from the Federal Government that approved the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

On that theme, the Premier put her focus towards how the British Columbia project could be instrumental in reducing the effects of climate change in Asia. On that theme Premier Clark observed that the introduction of British Columbia Natural Gas, which she said would be the cleanest in the world could see nations such as China, Japan and India reduce their consumption of coal, slowing the growth of the world's emissions.

She outlined some details on the governments work on the BC climate charter and how when it come to the carbon tax in BC, the government will return all of that revenue to the residents of the province in the form of lower taxes, noting that the government "won't be taxing the people of the province out of their jobs".

Calling revenue neutrality the government's guiding principle, the Premier announced that the province will recognized by the UN on Thursday for its work in fighting climate change, with the global organization honouring the province on its revenue neutral carbon tax and how the UN believes that the province is a model for the world.

Ms. Clark also proposed making British Columbia a hub for marine shipping, where vessels can fuel up on natural gas, a concept that would reduce global emissions than all of the emissions that British Columbia generates today.

She also committed the province to 100 percent renewable clean power for BC Hydro, reviewing the province's plans for the Site C project, noting that it has become an employment generator in the northeast region of the Province.

As part of her comments on that project, the Premier observed that as municipal leaders know, making hard decisions is part of the job and that it is impossible to make everyone happy when a decision is a tough one.

There was one shout out for the North Coast this year, with the Premier noting Tuesday's announcement on Pacific NorthWest.

Ms. Clark highlighted the nature of that investment and how the province made sure that the project would be done right.  Noting that "in places like Port Edward, dancing Dave MacDonald was doing a jig right now", a salute to the Port Edward Mayor in the audience and a reference to his efforts to see the Pacific NorthWest project move forward towards development in his community.

As she wrapped up her speech which clocked in at just seconds short of thirty minutes in length, she outlined how the government had stuck to its plan and been able to get to their finances in order, worked to create jobs around the province and worked to invest in putting British Columbians first.

Premier Clark then delivered a string of what appeared to be position statements for her and the BC Liberals for the coming election, calling on municipalities to join the provincial government as they:

Stay the Course, 

Let's make sure we Keep Getting to Yes, 

Let's create jobs for our citizens in urban and rural communities.

Let's invest in them so that they can change their own lives 

Her final thoughts for the audience reinforcing the call of "Putting British Columbians first" something which it would appear will be the position statement for the Liberals through the fall and into the spring election period.

You can view the address to the delegates from the Province of British Columbia's YouTube feed:

As her address to the convention was taking place, there were a number of comments through social media to applaud, and in some cases question some of the Premier's commentary.

The one are that generated the most discussion appeared to be the Premier's thoughts on how the proposed LNG project for Lelu Island would improve the conditions of climate change, something that didn't resonate very well  for a number of those watching Tuesday's address.

For her part, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice took to twitter offering up her support for a note from the press secretary to NDP Leader John Horgan, observing that the largest amount of applause for the speech appeared to be coming from BC Liberal staffers at the back of the room.

As for the NDP leader, Mr. Horgan was putting his focus towards Tuesday's LNG announcement, relaying through a statement on the NDP website of  his belief that the Federal announcement was really a reminder of the Premier's failure to deliver even one LNG plant to the province.

Calling the LNG promises by the BC Liberals as still empty, noting how they had failed to deliver even one LNG terminal to this point in their vision of a made in BC industry.

“Christy Clark promised British Columbians an LNG windfall during the last election. She promised to have one plant up and running a year ago, and five by the end of the decade. She promised 100,000 new jobs and to deposit $100 billion in a prosperity fund. None of that has come true,”

A number of other BC NDP MLA's also offered up their critiques of the Premier's speech, calling attention to areas where they suggest the Premier is merely recycling past promises and others where they believe she is suddenly changing direction on a range of issues with an eye towards the upcoming election.

More items related to the UBCM Convention can be found on our archive page here.

Notes related to Provincial politics and be found on our Legislature archive page .

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Pacific NorthWest LNG approval announcement

Pacific NorthWest LNG project stalled by more than 190 federal conditions
First Nations split on Ottawa's Pacific NorthWest LNG decision
Trudeau government at pains to explain Pacific NorthWest LNG
LNG project approval won't mean green light for other pipelines, Jim Carr says
Ottawa's approval of massive B.C. energy project sets bar for future
Liberals make the right call on LNG
Liberal's approval of B.C. LNG project could breathe life into NDP
Trudeau Liberals Approve Petronas LNG Project on BC's Coast
Trudeau's LNG Approval: What a Difference a Day Makes
Federal environment minister defends approval of Pacific NorthWest LNG
Giant LNG project proposed for B.C. not yet a done deal
No federal "poison pill" in LNG plant conditions, B.C. Government says
Will Premier Clark slash LNG taxes to deliver on her election promise?
Local politicians applaud LNG project

UN looks at BC Hydro project's potential impact on Alberta world heritage site
How to 'Stop' Tent Cities? Help Residents Before Crisis, Mayors Say
Vancouver considers new restrictions to curb Airbnb effect
B.C. to spend additional $10 million in battle against overdoses
Premier Christy Clark promises $10-million to fight drug deaths
B.C. families on income assistance get to keep EI benefits
New Airbnb rules could shut down 1,000 short-term listings in Vancouver, says Mayor
B.C. to create substance-use research centre, Premier Christy Clark tells UBCM
Premier vows $10M boost in overdose fight, $148M for clean water
B.C. Green party to refuse corporate and union donations
Valuable lessons in quake simulation
Premier funds water, firefighter help for communities
B.C. cities join push to halt Vancouver Island old-growth logging

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for September 28, 2016.

Pacific NorthWest LNG approval announcement

Pacific NorthWest LNG project stalled by more than 190 federal conditions
First Nations split on Ottawa's Pacific NorthWest LNG decision
Trudeau government at pains to explain Pacific NorthWest LNG
LNG project approval won't mean green light for other pipelines, Jim Carr says
Ottawa's approval of massive B.C. energy project sets bar for future
Liberals make the right call on LNG
Liberal's approval of B.C. LNG project could breathe life into NDP
Trudeau Liberals Approve Petronas LNG Project on BC's Coast
Trudeau's LNG Approval: What a Difference a Day Makes

Provinces push for more federal health spending as senior population grows
Company that moved Trudeau aides backtracks, says receipts not always required
Canada must be careful not to become the U.S.'s trade target
Marc Mayrand urges modernization of Canada's outdated electoral process
Trudeau praises late former Israeli PM Shimon Peres as a friend to Canada
"I never go where I'm not invited,' not Atlantic judge says of Supreme Court
320,000 newcomers came to Canada in past year, highest number since 1971
A question for Maryam Monsef about her birthplace
Yukon First Nation calls on William and Kate to support land rights
Premiers send Trudeau demanding meeting on health care
House of Commons to vote on Paris climate treaty
Guy Giorno and Brad Trost debate over expenses falls through
Andrew Scheer enters Conservative leadership race
Marc Mayrand urges 'broadest possible' consensus on changing election rules
Tardy bureaucrats causing First Nations' cost overruns report finds
Canada should talk 'growing pains' with countries looking to mimic Syrian refugee program, senator says
Canada's population now more than 36 million after refugee influx last year
Cost of food, drink on Trudeau's plane $1,300 per person, Liberals reveal
Site C dam approval another violation of First Nations rights
Trudeau's magical, mystery climate plan
Principle is one thing, padded pension is another
If we must have one unelected Senate, then it must also be unpowerful
Senate's Westminster model of operating vanishing as independents seek share of power: senator
Andrew Scheer announces support of 20 members of Conservative caucus as he makes leadership bid official
Tory leadership race turns nasty as Brad Trost questions MP's 'fitness for the office' as deputy House leader
Emma Watson praises Justin Trudeau for half-female cabinet in meeting at Ottawa summit
Justin Trudeau tells youth summit attendees they 'have the power to change the world'
Liberals face chilly times ahead

Metlakatla and Prince Rupert offer up reaction to Pacific NorthWest LNG announcement

As local governments began to digest the Federal approval announcement  and the 190 conditions in place for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, local officials started to deliver the first of their comments towards how they see the progress of the multi billion dollar project moving forward for the Northwest.

The Metlakatla First Nation outlined its comments through a Statement from Chief Harold Leighton, who noted that the Metlakatla Governing Council was pleased that the Federal Cabinet has issued a decision statement that addressed many of its environmental and cultural concerns and noted of the involvement of the Metlakatla Stewardship Society through the review and assessment of Pacific NorthWest LNG process.

“Following a lengthy period of consultation and engagement with federal and provincial agencies and Pacific NorthWest LNG, the Metlakatla Governing Council is pleased that the federal cabinet has issued a decision statement with conditions on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project that address environmental and cultural considerations. 

The Metlakatla Stewardship Society has been fully involved in the review and assessment of the Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility since February 2013. During that time, our highly qualified staff have made a wide variety of recommendations to the provincial and federal governments and the company based on provided documentation, internal studies and third party reviews of existing modelling related to Flora Bank. 

This work has resulted in numerous conditions being recommended to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to ensure any potential negative impacts are not only monitored and reported, but mitigated to the fullest extent possible."

The Metlakatla Council also expressed its satisfaction that many of the 190 conditions in place for the proposed development came through the efforts of the Metlakatla Stewardship Society.

Further noting that the Society will continue to be involved in all aspects of reviewing and monitoring the project to ensure that Pacific NorthWest is accountable to Metlakatla members and remain respectful of its culture and traditional territory.

A look at the full statement can be found below (click to expand):

The First comment on the Pacific NorthWest announcement from the City of Prince Rupert came around the noon hour, with Mayor Lee Brain offering his observations through his Twitter feed.

Mayor Lee Brain used an infographic to outline the City of Prince Rupert's approach to the Federal Decision, noting that while they see opportunity for growth and employment, they will be "reviewing the conditions for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project to determine how the City's previously raised concerns have been addressed during the Environmental Assessment."

Mayor Brain also observed that the City will also "look forward to concluding an impact/benefits agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG", which he states "will contribute to securing a final investment decision"

So far to this point, there have been no comments released by the Lax Kw'alaams Band related to Tuesday's announcement.

You can review our notes on yesterday's decision from the Federal Government here, more items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be examined on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review