What Does NDP Win Mean for BC?
Prince George, B.C. – What impact, if any, will the Alberta’s NDP win have for B.C.?
The party is on the record as opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, yet at the same time supporting other energy projects.
SFU political scientist Patrick Smith says it will likely depend on where you live.
“My own sense is that Northern Gateway was not going to go forward anyway. There were just too many obstacles to it,” he says. “The irony is that that makes the likelihood of Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain far higher.”
He adds with the majority of citizens live in the Lower Mainland, “where the ships carrying bitumen are going to be travelling – will mean more potential for more British Columbians to be affected should something happen.”
Then there’s the potential of value added jobs, something NDP leader Rachel Notley mentioned during her victory speech.
“One of the problems, whether it’s Northern Gateway or Trans Mountain, shipping oil in its rawest form, and we found this in Vancouver harbour last month, it’s rather difficult to capture if it does spill,” Smith says.
“Whereas if you refine it, it’s more likely to evaporate and other things. So it’s impact is less and you’ve created another industry.”
Will the win provide an electoral boost to the federal NDP?
“Possibly a few seats in and around Edmonton,” he says.
However Smith says people shouldn’t expect to see any radical changes in Alberta.
“I think we’re going to see a more moderate social democrat party,” he says. “She’s (Notley) committed to a couple of major energy projects which include the continuation of the tar sands and Trans Mountain. So it’s not like we’re going to have this rude green awakening in Alberta.”