THE Liberals on Monday claimed that only Premier Christy Clark and they have a plan to create jobs by getting to yes on resource development the B.C. way – protecting the environment to the highest standards, ensuring opportunities for First Nations, and securing benefits for all British Columbians.
“Responsible resource development is how people have lived here for thousands of years — making a good living from the abundance of our land and water, while protecting and preserving the environment for future generations,” said Clark. “From mining to forestry, to aquaculture, we are the only party with a plan to keep developing resources better, cleaner, and more responsibly than anywhere in the world.”
There’s no better example of this approach than the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which protects an area of pristine temperate rainforest larger than Ireland forever – while ensuring economic opportunity for First Nations and forestry-dependent communities, the Liberals said.
Signed in 2016 after ten years of negotiations, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement has since received international recognition, including the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
The Liberals said that Dallas Smith, their candidate in the North Island, is a key architect of the agreement.
“We have the world’s attention, because we showed that it’s possible to achieve balance,” says Smith. “We built the process from scratch, and it’s great to see other Indigenous communities starting to take this model – because it works.”
The Liberals said that their balanced B.C. approach is also reflected in:
* Legislation ensuring the cleanest LNG facilities in the world
* B.C.’s Five Conditions, now recognized around the world as the framework for how to do business in British Columbia, which have secured unprecedented environmental protection and economic benefit for the province.
* 52 million hectares of B.C. forests independently certified as sustainably managed – an area larger than Oregon and Washington state combined.
The Liberals said that their 2017 platform outlines the next steps B.C. will take.
* Create a new Centre for Salmon Research in Campbell River, and invest in aquaculture sustainability research at North Island College;
* Introduce a new Truck Logger Training Credit, to help employers with the cost of training people on the job, and create more jobs;
* Support the development of refineries and pipelines that meet our environmental assessment requirements and provide benefits and jobs for British Columbians;
* Continue to fight for B.C. to get a fair deal on softwood.
The Liberals said that this balanced approach offers a stark contrast to the BC NDP and BC Greens – the twin parties of “no.” Instead of getting to yes on responsible resource development, they will hike taxes, kill thousands of good jobs, and push families to the brink.