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October 28, 2017 12:32 am

Government should govern, not be a cheerleader

Thursday, January 28, 2016 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill Phillips


Poor Jas Johal.

I’m not sure whether his job has been made more difficult or redundant.

Johal, the award-winning former Global TV journalist, is now the communications director for the B.C. LNG Alliance. The Alliance represents all the big players in the liquefied natural gas sector in B.C. – Kitimat LNG, LNG Canada, Pacific Northwest LNG, Prince Rupert LNG, Triton LNG, and d WWC LNG.

Johal’s job, along with the alliance, is to be the “voice of British Columbia’s new LNG export industry.” He was in Prince George at the Premier’s Natural Resource Forum, doing his thing.

All was fine and dandy, but then in stepped Premier Christy Clark.

It’s no secret that she’s pretty high in the LNG industry. Fair enough. But this week she took it too far.

On Monday Clark pledged to fight the “forces of ‘no'” when it comes to LNG. She railed on the Opposition New Democrats, environmentalists, and a group of First Nations who have signed a declaration calling for an environmental protection zone near Pacific Northwest LNG’s proposed LNG project at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert.

My question is simply this: Why is it the premier’s job to combat those who oppose the location of this plant? Shouldn’t that be the job of Pacific Northwest LNG or, more likely, Jas Johal and the B.C. LNG Alliance?

I get it that the premier supports the LNG industry. The economic benefits for the province of an LNG plant proceeding are pretty significant.

But, once again, shouldn’t it be the industry’s job to convince British Columbians that the project is worthwhile and prove that it won’t substantially damage the environment? Why is it the premier’s job to do that? Why would the LNG industry hire people like Jas Johal to promote the industry when they have the highest profile spokesperson in the province – the premier?

To make matters even worse, Clark suggested that opposition to the location isn’t about science, but about a fear of change. In other words, all those people who live in the area and who are supported by scientists, are ignorant. The premier knows best. At least the industry spokespeople are respectful.

Yes, government does have a role to play in bringing the LNG industry to fruition. It has to ensure regulations are in place and enforce them. In addition it has to put a tax regime in place to ensure British Columbians reap the benefits. Victoria has done that, however, the tax plan has been criticized for not charging enough.

The government should not be in the business of selling the industry to British Columbians. That job belongs to the industry.

By summarily dismissing those who raise questions about LNG (apparently you only have to question the industry to get in Clark’s sights), Clark forgets one key aspect of governance: She and the government represent all British Columbians. It’s her job to represent those who oppose LNG as much as it is to represent those who support it. Her job isn’t to represent Malaysian-backed Petronas at all.


Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com



Interesting.Maybe i should pay more attention to Her.

In view of the way the markets are heading these days, Bill, and the economy with it, I’m just thankful that we have a Premier whom wants to see British Columbia stay prosperous for the BENEFIT OF ALL OF US, rather than on a political suicide mission like the newly minted Premier of Alberta is.

I suggest you take the time to search and read THE DESTROYERS: RACHEL NOTLEY AND THE NDP’S WAR ON ALBERTA and then thank your lucky stars we have Chisty Clark on our side, doing her best to keep BC prosperous, rather than that alternative,

We’ve only begun to see the results of that disastrous vote.

Really Bill?!? I’m pretty sure Christy Clark’s priority is to provide jobs and opportunity for the citizens of British Columbia and if it takes a little cheerleading to get that done, then she has governed well.

Agree 100% palomino. I have been involved exstensivly with the Inviromental studies for all the LNG pipelines.
1- The process starts with Indigenous consultation.
2- LNG companies advertise in all Indigenous villages for people interested to work with the Inviromentalist to do Inviromental studies.
3- Two Inviromentalist along with 7 Indigenous people fly in helicopters, to fly every km of the proposed pipeline looking for indigenous artifacts, vegetation, wildlife habitat including bear dens, birds wolves,moose,deer and all other species along the proposed pipeline. Watersheds rivers and lakes are also studied. If on the proposed pipeline, artifacts wildlife impact to great are found then a reroute is done.
4- Drlling holes to sample the soil types below the proposed pipeline in the event of an earthquake and other natural Inviromental occurrences.
5- Inviromentalist/Scientists/Indigenous all sign the studies once all concerns are complied with. This information goes to both governments and the pipeline companies.

These are just a few things that occur in the process. This is not cheap. I think the public need to be better informed on all phases of the process. Yes this is the Job of the proponents and governments if governments want to set the bar for these projects.

She’s flogging a dead horse. Time to hitch her wagon to another live one. Whatever it is, just make it sound more fantastic than what LNG was supposed to do for us, and away we go again…

Haven’t you heard Socredible? We’re now going to be a tech province. Christy’s going to add computer coding to our kid’s curriculum. No plans or money to actually give them computers to code on though, no, apparently we’re going to teach them to code using paper and pencil (bought by parent of course).

“Inviromentalist”…….is this something new ?

You beat me to it Digitus. That post of 8’s lost all credibility when somebody claims to be heavily involved in the process, but can’t spell what they are involved in. One error is a mistake…. but six times?

I apologize for the typo. Please forgive me posters. environment was the intended word. Bloody new to the iPad. 😰

I believe that if another location was found that there wouldn’t be this much of a protest. To build the project on top of a major salmon fry rearing area just doesn’t sit well with a lot of folks and I can honestly say who can blame them for having these justifiable concerns.

Brother Gecko. I did not read into 8 posts looking for credibility. Nice of you to judge tho. Didn’t we step on that little green Gecko long time ago? Annoying little green thing. Lol

You ask, “Why is it the premier’s job to combat those who oppose the location of this plant?”

And then you answer it, “The economic benefits for the province of an LNG plant proceeding are pretty significant.”

So I have to wonder why bother writing this column at all?

Christy is nothing more than a lot of fluff with not much content. She never has had any secure financing from any of the LNG backers. The only thing Christy is interested in is getting your vote and will BS her way to get it. As they say if BS was Brass she would have a complete Band.

Bill’s column always lists his bio and awards at the bottom. After reading his columns, this one included, I usually come away with the thought that someday it would be nice to actually read some of his award winning stuff because we sure don’t seem to get it here!

oldman1, you suggest that the only thing that Christy is interested in is getting your vote and will BS her way to get it. You wouldn’t by chance be thinking of Justin by mistake now, would you?

I am sure that all of those that are considering investing in BC will look at the leader of the Province to try to get some sense of the level of support for their investment. Perhaps that’s why investment dollars in Alberta are leaving in droves and why Canada as a whole under Justin and Co. is being seem as less and less a place to invest!

How can we tell there’s an election in a year?

Hart Guy— I think anyone who would criticize any party that has only been in power for say 6 months to a year is not enough time to make changes.

She’s working on her future directorship . Next time the revolving door opens she’ll be booted through it . Anyone that has fished flora banks and the trench off Kitson island knows how insane destroying it is .

It appears that during the last election ALL politicians of all stripes (Cons included) were doing all kinds of things (remember the cash register and the Ford thing?) to get votes!

I prefer a politician who knows how to convey convictions and optimistic plans to one who is a stoic and uncommunicative one-man show!

Old man. The government in this conversation has been in power for over 3 years. And 6 months is ample time to get things done. It only took this government 11 weeks to show what we can exspect for the next 3.5 years. Before long we will get the same middle finger as his dad gave western Canada if we keep knocking his hair and selfy”s.

Oldman1, I think that it is both fair, reasonable and responsible to criticize Trudeau and his new Liberal Government. Look at what they have done and now look at what they are doing:

“DEVELOPING NOW: This morning, MaryAnn Mihychuk, the new Minister for Employment, Workforce and Labour introduced a bill: “An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act.”

In case you forgot, Harper passed several amendments in that regard to increase union transparency. His legislation, among other things, required unions to disclose expenses over $5,000 and salaries over $100,000. Polls at the time showed that Canadians “overwhelmingly support[ed]” the efforts. The only reason it was “controversial” is because the big union bosses didn’t like it.

Now the Liberals are going to undo it all.

We knew this was coming. They hinted at it shortly after their election. The Liberals are already taking care of their union pals, ensuring that they can continue to forcibly collect union dues and then conduct all their business in private — while continuing to support the Liberal Party, of course.

This is a disgusting, Kathleen Wynne-esque move. By making it this early, they are clearly hoping Canadians will forget about it by 2019.”

Oldman1, this seems worthy criticism, wouldn’t you think? Especially in light of the fact that on the same day that the Liberals announced plans to eliminate union transparency bills, Elections Canada announces that a union was found guilty of making an illegal donation to the Liberal Party back in September!

ht tp://m.marketwired.com/press-release/commissioner-of-canada-elections-enters-into-compliance-agreement-with-ua-local-527-2092079.htm

Remove the spaces between ht and tp.

Clearly the left-wing media is far too unwilling to make all of this front page news, but be free to spread it to all of your friends!

“DEVELOPING NOW: The Canadian Coastguard is having severe problems with the nine new ships built under Harper procurement by the Irving Shipyards in Canada. Wiring problems, early signs of rusting (!), contaminated water tanks and possible danger of capsizing due to design if ice builds up on superstructure.

Bc Green Party’s petition on MSP has make crusty blink . One bcgp MLA in opposition one ups the dead wood NDPs . Way to go Stevie , couldn’t even buy a boat or two without screwing that up .

Ataloss. These patrol ships were designed by a Dutch company and built by a Canadian Shipbuilding Co. Irving. So if you have some complaints about the ships take it up with the Dutch, and with the Canadian Builders.

Seems its the Canadians who have trouble supplying a quality product.

Stevie was invited to grace our Canada Winter Games with his presence. I would have been delighted to see him there taking some Selfies with smiling athletes! Instead he did not show up and went to a hockey game elsewhere. So much for the West! The constant bashing here of the new government is pure sour grapes! Accept reality and get a life!

“Seems its the Canadians who have trouble supplying a quality product.”

That’s why the latest new BC ferry is Made In Poland! The German shipyard was too busy with other orders.

Actually Hartguy, repealing those two pieces of legislation were part of the Liberal platform and not “hinted at it shortly after their election.”

You’re right, we knew it was coming because they campaigned on it. Harper tried to make hay on it more than once. Guess more people were in favour of repealing them than keeping them…

Seems its the Canadians who have trouble supplying a quality product. Not really . It’s down to lack (inspection ) oversight . Very basic stuff that Stevie and crew were incredibly inept at . mixing political patronage with life and death never works out . Stevie’s biggest job creation has to have been work for lawyers . I imagine they will make money off of us for decades to come thanks to that moron .

Federal Watchdog says Canada’s electronic spy agency broke privacy laws by sharing information about Canadians with foreign partners!

New Liberal government put everything on hold!

Wow! And the Mike Duffy trial is yet to resume! Politics have never been as exciting as they are shaping up now! Great entertainment for cold and rainy days!

Could you imagine having to work for Christy and her clowns and not belong to a Union. Every one of them think they are above the Law . They don’t even abide by any Supreme court decision. They also have their nose stuck in Work Safe so they can control them also. If I was to build a garage in my back yard I would need a permit first but not them they would build the garage first.

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