SKEENA - BC Election Candidate Survey

We polled the 3 BC election candidates in the Skeena riding and asked them 7 questions about salmon, economic development and LNG. Here are their responses.

Q1: What is your position on the development of an LNG facility on Lelu Island and how will you advocate for it if elected?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: For any LNG facility the BC NDP thinks it is important to guarantee 4 points:

  1. A fair share of the financial benefits must remain in the region.
  2. There must be a guarantee of local jobs and apprenticeships.
  3. First Nations must be true partners in any project.
  4. Requiring projects to respect all current and future environmental protections.

Christy Clark and the BC Liberals refused to support these measures that would benefit the local region. At this time the Lelu Island project does not meet these requirements.

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond

Q2: What is your position on local and regional governments deriving direct resources from development projects to help support community costs, such as the NW BC Resource Benefits Alliance is asking?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: We have always been clear in our support of the North West BC Resource Benefits Alliance. I believe the local region needs to see the financial benefit of the natural resources being extracted and transported through our communities. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have not acted on this and it has cost our region as we struggle to pay for the infrastructure needs of the community.

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond

Q3: How do you see social policy, environmental policy and economic policy interacting in the northwest?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: I feel like we cannot look at social, environmental and economic policy in isolation. This is why the BC NDP has clearly laid out our requirements for industrial development and made it clear that these are all connected. We are a region that has relied on natural resources like the fisheries to get by. For the fisheries to do well, we need strong environmental policies which will provide economic and social benefits. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have ignored this relationship for too long but a BC NDP government will recognize that in the North a clean environment, means a strong economy and social benefits in the region.

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond

Q4: In you view, what policies and incentives would you (or your party) put in place to avoid boom/bust cycles, and how will you support the development of local, sustainable jobs?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: I feel like we cannot look at social, environmental and economic policy in isolation. This is why the BC NDP has clearly laid out our requirements for industrial development and made it clear that these are all connected. We are a region that has relied on natural resources like the fisheries to get by. For the fisheries to do well, we need strong environmental policies which will provide economic and social benefits. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have ignored this relationship for too long but a BC NDP government will recognize that in the North a clean environment, means a strong economy and social benefits in the region.

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond

Q5: Please share your opinion on how the current Government has handled negotiations, engagement and consultation with First Nations within the Skeena Watershed in regards to LNG and associated infrastructure (including pipelines). How would you do things differently?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: The current government has handled negotiations poorly because they are performing them with one goal in mind and that is to meet their political timelines. I think we should be acting in the best interests of the people of British Columbia, and specifically the people who live on the north coast. The BC NDP tried to ensure project development agreements were going to be focused on maximizing the local benefit for the region but the BC Liberals were more interested in pointing to an LNG project, even if that meant no local employment, no local financial benefit, and no protection for our vital pristine wilderness.

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond

Q6: What will you do help ensure the protection of water quality and fish habitat in the northwest region?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: Fish and clean water are very important to the region. I think it is important to understand that we will not bring in one industry at the expense of another. We need to be focused on protecting the fish and the water that many people make their livelihoods from. I will not trade the health of our salmon stocks that have been fished for thousands of years for another industrial development which is why it is so important that these considerations are involved in all decisions surrounding LNG facilities in the North Coast.

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond

Q7: Do you support renewable energy development in the region and how will you and your party ensure the industry is successful in NW BC?

BRUCE BIDGOOD - NDP: The BC NDP’s Power BC plan would bring much needed investment into the region with solar and wind production, while putting an emphasis on conservation. This is very important for communities in Haida Gwaii and on the central coast where many rely on diesel generators for electricity. We have many willing First Nations partners who have just needed a partner at the provincial level who will make these investments. The BC NDP will invest in these areas and move toward cleaner energy production. 

ELLIS ROSS - BC Liberals: Did not respond

MERV RITCHIE - LAW Party of BC: Did not respond