theQuestion: Is the NDP’s support of the BC Liberal’s LNG Tax Legislation good for B.C.?*
Last week, I argued that while the Burnaby Mountain protesters are ostensibly fighting to stop global climate change, the real goal is to dismantle capitalism. In response, I was called a coward, shallow, petty and, on more than one occasion, a capitalist pig.
If you didn’t believe my argument then read This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein. On her website she writes, “forget everything you think you know about global warming … it’s about capitalism … we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.”
I understand why activists have zeroed in on fossil fuels. Coal powered the industrial revolution, gasoline powered the 20th century, and with luck, natural gas will power the 21st and beyond. The BC Liberals know this and that’s why they are working to implement their plan to build a profitable liquefied natural gas industry.
The BC NDP also recognizes the LNG opportunity and that’s why they support the BC Liberals` plan. What? That’s right they do.
Last week, every single NDP MLA voted in favour of passing the government’s LNG tax legislation. Yes, the same legislation that just a month ago the NDP decried as a sell-out.
It’s a good bill. It establishes a 3.5% tax on the industry that will deliver significant revenue to pay for education, health care and social services.
If you thought the NDP was against LNG — this includes the fracking that goes with it —you are mistaken. Instead of making a stand against LNG, they chose to stand side by side with the BC Liberals.
Following the vote, New Democrat leader John Horgan said LNG is a bipartisan issue and the NDP wants to send a signal to British Columbians that LNG should proceed. I applaud them for making the responsible decision.
Why the flip-flop? The New Democrats know the province can’t afford to placate the radical anti-fossil fuel, anti-capitalist fringe of their party. The irony is that while protesters from Burnaby Mountain think they logged a win last week in their battle against fossil fuels, in reality they won nothing. While they protested, their friends in the NDP were in Victoria stabbing them in the back.