Provincial New Democrat energy, mines and petroleum resources critic John Horgan took a swipe at the Campbell administration's energy plan in the party's most recent newsletter. According to Mr. Horgan, "Like a lot of what this government has done, the energy plan was mostly a collection of vague assertions. It talked about conserving energy, which on its face is a good thing, but it contains no support for consumers who want to cut back on their electricity usage. And the initiatives that are actually new in the plan rely on technology that hasn't been tested." Continued Mr. Horgan, "What we got was a disappointment, and not a real plan at all." That's strong language - especially coming from a critic who said last week he'd "certainly give (the plan) a B, particularly because of the conservation initiatives." This, according to a report by The Canadian Press's Scott Sutherland. So what does Mr. Horgan have to say about the apparent contradiction between those two statements?
Speaking with Public Eye, Mr. Horgan explained "I gave it a B because of the conservation initiatives. But, upon reading the details, there are no new initiatives. They're all old programs. And the only actual new announceable on the conservation side was a surcharge. So that was my intent. I was trying to be magnaminous because it's kind of flippant to constantly say everything sucks. But I stand disappointed after looking at the fine print. There isn't any other initiatives. It's just we're going to do this. And there's no way to get there." The following is a complete copy of the relevant portion of that newsletter.
BC NDP Connection Newsletter
Energy plan a disappointment, NDP MLAs say
British Columbians expecting the B.C. Liberals to come up with a plan to meet the province's energy needs were disappointed this week.
The government's energy plan came down Tuesday, and New Democrat MLA John Horgan said it was most notable for what wasn't there.
"Like a lot of what this government has done, the energy plan was mostly a collection of vague assertions," said Horgan, the NDP Critic for Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
"It talked about conserving energy, which on its face is a good thing, but it contains no support for consumers who want to cut back on their electricity usage.
"And the initiatives that are actually new in the plan rely on technology that hasn't been tested."
NDP Environment Critic Shane Simpson said the plan is rife with hypocrisy.
"In November, the Premier told business people in Hong Kong that offshore oil and gas exploration is closer than we think," said Simpson, the MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. "Two weeks ago, the same Premier was telling British Columbians they needed to worry about greenhouse gas emissions.
"Now, in this plan, they are maintaining their subsidies to the oil and gas sector, but are providing no similar incentives to green energy projects, such as solar, wind and tidal energy," said Simpson. "This isn't a plan for the future."
Horgan, the NDP MLA for Malahat-Juan de Fuca, said the government is trying to cover the tracks they laid just a few short months ago.
"Only the B.C. Liberals would claim credit for shutting the door on coal-fired power plants," said Horgan, "when the only reason anyone ever considered coal power was because the government opened the door to the idea.
"We've been waiting for more than a year for this energy plan to come to light," Horgan said. "What we got was a disappointment, and not a real plan at all."