Premier looks back on 2013

Tom Fletcher sits down with Premier Christy Clark for the traditional year-end interview.

After a whirlwind year that started with a come-from-behind election win, Premier Christy Clark sat down with me for the traditional year-end interview in her Victoria office. Here are excerpts from that discussion. A longer version with video can be found under the Opinion tab of this newspaper’s website.

 

 

 

TF: Premier, you surprised a few people this year. What surprised you the most about 2013?

PCC: I guess it was the disconnect between the pollsters and the pundits, and the public. I did have a sense all the time that the citizens were thinking something different in the run-up to the election campaign. I wondered, am I missing something here, or are they missing something? And I guess it turned out that it wasn’t me that was missing something.

 

 

 

TF: The liquefied natural gas export project is going to use a lot of natural gas, especially in the early years. Will B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction targets [20 per cent reduction by 2020, 80 per cent by 2050] have to be changed?

PCC: I don’t have a clear answer on that yet. We are working with the companies on exactly how we are going to structure their environmental commitments and costs, and their electricity costs versus using gas, the total royalty tax regime. We’re looking at that as one package.

However that turns out, though, this opportunity to export natural gas to Asia is the single biggest opportunity we have ever had as a province to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world. In shipping this to China, we are going to help them wean themselves off some of the dirtiest coal anybody’s burning anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

TF: If B.C. is going to get credit for displacing coal use in Asia, shouldn’t B.C.’s coal exports, even though it’s metallurgical coal, count in our greenhouse gas total as well?

PCC: I know that the academics and pundits are going to get all mired in competing sets of numbers and studies. For me, we have a chance to do good for the world, and we’re going to take it.

 

 

 

TF: On oil pipelines, your agreement in November with Alberta Premier Alison Redford involves B.C. supporting her effort for a national energy strategy. What do you see it doing in the future?

PCC: The big idea that she’s trying to pursue with that is a strategy that will connect us east to west in energy. Energy grids are much better connected north to south than they are east to west. So she’s trying to pursue a pan-Canadian strategy for the exchange of energy, whether that’s hydroelectricity or natural gas or whatever it is.

We haven’t been intimately involved with it until recently, so we’ll see where it goes.

 

 

 

TF: There’s a perception out there, fuelled by the opposition, that you campaigned against oil pipelines and now you’re turning the tanker around, as it were, to be in support of them. What do you say to that?

PCC: It’s typical of the other guys to reinterpret and misquote. That’s what they do. They’re in opposition. What I said was, we have five conditions that must be met in order for heavy oil to be considered to go ahead in British Columbia. That has not changed.

The five conditions remain in place. As of today, none of them have been met. The only thing that is different today, from before the election, is that now I no longer stand alone in supporting the five conditions. I have one other premier supporting me, and that’s Alison Redford.

 

 

 

Tom Fletcher is legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. tfletcher@blackpress.ca

 

Just Posted

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away from where RCMP shooting occured

The family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River”

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Gil’s Girls win Harvey Walkus Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament in shootout

This year the tournament was held at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena on April 12-14.

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read