Georgia Straight: Martyn Brown: John Horgan’s new NDP government—this feels like…progress

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August 13 2017 | Martyn Brown

Quoted from the article:

The announcement by Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby, on actions to defend B.C.’s interests in the face of the Kinder Morgan project, was also monumental.

It left no doubt that the Horgan administration is not willing to roll over and play dead for a Big Oil project that many predicted it would passively resist at best.

Hiring Thomas Berger, QC, OC, OBC as the government’s external counsel to support the province’s new legal efforts to help others challenge federal approval of the pipeline expansion and increased oil tanker traffic off B.C.’s coast in court was a stroke of brilliance.

The insights, knowledge, and expertise that Berger will uniquely bring to the government in effectively protecting Aboriginal interests, rights, and title cannot be overstated. They may prove pivotal in winning the fight to stop that project, which also so threatens B.C.’s coastline, ecosystems, and climate action imperatives.

Ditto for the government’s new hard line on evaluating future permits and work plans.

Heyman and Eby’s new measures will ensure that Indigenous people’s constitutional rights are duly respected, in keeping with the broader goal of reconciliation, while also significantly strengthening environmental protection.

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