NEW Freedom of Information documents reveal the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, whose members donated over $3.6 million to the B.C. Liberals since 2011, received extensive secret backroom consultations on B.C.’s proposed Climate Action Plan, allege the NDP.
“Was it $3.6 million in donations to the B.C. Liberals that led to the backroom consultation and eventual gutting of the climate action plan?” asked Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert. “We may never get the truth from the B.C. Liberals on this, but this is precisely why our new government banned big money.”
Back in 2015, the B.C. Liberal government commissioned a blue-ribbon panel of experts to make recommendations on a plan for climate action in British Columbia. The government then proceeded to ignore nearly every single one of the panel’s 32 recommendations. Newly uncovered documents are suggesting a picture of how we got there, said the NDP.
A scan of donations dating back to 2011 shows producer and associate members of CAPP donated over $3.6 million to the B.C. Liberals. This tally doesn’t even include donations from subsidiaries or owners and CEO’s, the NDP noted.
The NDP allege that the secret meetings, held in CAPP’s Calgary boardrooms, occurred over a three-month period after the Climate Leadership Panel made its final recommendations in October and before the province’s Climate Action Plan was announced in the spring.
“British Columbians deserve answers from the B.C. Liberals on the impact these consultations had on the final policy, which almost entirely abandoned the panel’s recommendations. With the way the B.C. Liberals did business, it’s no surprise they are fighting our new government’s proposal to bring in the strictest political finance laws in the country,” said Chandra Herbert.
RICH Coleman, interim leader of BC Liberals, reacting to the NDP’s allegations, said in a statement: “The Climate Leadership Plan brought in by the former BC Liberal Government forecast the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next 10 years and expected to reduce net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050. It was designed to keep British Columbia at the forefront of the climate change fight in Canada.
“Prior to the BC’s Climate Leadership Plan’s release, consultations occurred with a number of stakeholders – which is appropriate.
“These consultations, by civil servants, ensured that the new programs and policies would meet B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction targets while maintaining strong economic growth and successfully implementing the BC Jobs Plan, including the liquefied natural gas strategy.
“The meetings referred to in the article took place in Calgary, as this is where a majority of the oil and gas industry are based and thus was the most convenient and efficient location for government staff to conduct consultations.”