B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson at a campaign stop in Campbell River Sept. 29, promoting a one-year elimination of provincial sales tax to help businesses buy equipment. (Campbell River Mirror)

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson targets pipeline protesters, promises forest stability

B.C. Liberals vow to grow tree planting, legislate ‘working forest’

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson took his campaign to Merritt Friday, promising to stabilize the forest industry with “working forest” guarantees, and vowing to get tough on protests targeting pipeline and other projects that have permits to build.

“We’ll end the NDP’s obstruction for the Trans Mountain pipeline, and we will take the position that permitted projects should not be blocked by protesters,” Wilkinson said at a lumberyard in the B.C. Interior community near Kamloops Oct. 2.

Police have responded multiple times to road and rail blockades targeting the Coastal Gaslink project, opposed by a small group of hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs and their supporters across the country. The Wet’suwet’en opponents launched their latest court challenge this week, arguing that permits issued for the gas pipeline across northern B.C. didn’t take into account “gender-based harms” associated with it.

RELATED: Gas pipeline opponents cite ‘gender-based harm’

RELATED: NDP delays log export restrictions due to COVID-19

John Horgan’s NDP government launched its own court challenges against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, joining cases brought by Indigenous communities in the Lower Mainland and their environmental group backers.

Asked how he would deal with protesters, Wilkinson said the courts are the correct place to oppose projects, and protests that ignore court orders should not be tolerated.

Wilkinson referred to an earlier promise to speed up mining and other resource permits by moving the process online, and continued to promote his two-year cut to the provincial sales tax as a way to help business buy equipment and people to have more money to spend.

On Friday Wilkinson focused on the forest industry, promising to change the current stumpage system for Crown timber so it changes along with the volatile lumber price instead of once or twice a year.

“We need to massively expand tree planting in British Columbia, not only for the benefit of the forest industry, but also to reduce our greenhouse gas production,” Wilkinson said. “We’ll introduce legislation to protect the working forest, because there’s no certainty in the B.C. forest industry these days, and that’s what we need to get ahead.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Comox Valley Hospice Society recently received a generous donation from a personal donor to help fill a fundraising gap created by COVID-19. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Comox Valley Hospice Society receives significant donation

CVHS is facing a fundraising shortage created by the pandemic

Comox Lake is the drinking water source for much of the Comox Valley. File photo
WATER WISE: Healthy watersheds should be a priority for all political parties

Do you know where your party of choice stands on the subject of clean water?

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

The Comox Valley Glacier Kings sit third in the VIJHL North Division with six points, one behind the Oceanside Generals. The Yetis face the division-leading Campbell River Storm in a home and home this weekend. File photo
Comox Valley Glacier Kings win three of first six games

Six games into the 2020/21 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season, the… Continue reading

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Most Read