Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Interview with Gordon Campbell

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Vancouver Sun

The editorial board plays pat-a-cake with the premier – no hardhitting questions and not much of substance in his answers.

He of course takes credit for the upswing in the economy. Even though it has very little to do provincial policies – and, of course, he will distance himself next year if the economy slides due to circumstances outside of his control.

I think the climate initiatives we’ve undertaken have really engaged the public, the public service and the community as a whole in a way that is pretty exciting and bodes very well for the future.

Actually most of us are still waiting to see you actually do something – so far the announcements have been administrivia and blatant PR “photo ops”. Not much of any substance so far, apart from determination to widen a freeway and refusal to acknowledge the long term impact that will have.

we set out a goal for ourselves in the 2005 election to have the best air and water quality bar none in British Columbia and we’ve carried on with that sort of a process

Really? You mean there are no longer any beehive burners in BC? That every community has access to safe water and does not feel threatened by your relaxation of control over logging companies in watersheds? And that cloudy stuff that was coming out of our pipes recently – is that the best we can expect?

the transit legislation we just passed is going to be critical in terms of helping us reduce our greenhouse gasses and emissions.

Incredibly there was no follow up to that assertion. And since what follows is all about self determination for First Nations, why can’t Greater Vancouver have a bit of self determination over its transportation system?

Finally, I think the Asia-Pacific remains a huge opportunity for Canada and for British Columbia. We’ll be maintaining the momentum behind that, not just this year with the opening of the Port of Prince Rupert . . . .

Interesting that he tails off there. Again, recall that he is talking to a Vancouver newspaper – and environment is supposedly high on this man’s agenda. Yet the interviewer does not raise the impact of the SFPR on Burns Bog, or the expansion of Deltaport on an area identified as critical habitat.

Unfortunately we are not in control of the international currency challenges . . . . I think the critical thing is we have have a softwood lumber agreement that works, I think, to our interests.

See what did I tell you? And I doubt that the residents of all those places in the interior that saw their mills close this year, and the loss of projects to use woodwaste for energy that died when those mills could not sell their primary outputs when the bottom dropped out of the US dimensional lumber market, will agree that is is working in our interests. The softwood lumber deal was the best that could be rescued from an aggressive, protectionist US that we showed we were not prepared to stand up for our rights. Just about every legal proceeding had found the US claims to be unfounded and its actions to be illegal – but we still lose our primary industry. And no Campbell does not carry that can alone – Mr Harper helps with that one.

And of course it is now four years since the raid on the leg and we still have not seen the case come to court. I would like to think that it will all blow up just in time for the election but I guess we will have to just wait and see.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 29, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Environment, politics

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