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 bobsled race has traditionally been a staple event at the carnival. File photo
Upcoming Rossland Winter Carnival cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis

This is the first time the carnival won’t be held in decades

Grace and her daughter Helen enjoyed one of the story walks put on by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar literacy programs going strong

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy is still offering services throughout the West Kootenay.

A view of proposed seniors housing on Vernon St. Illustration: City of Nelson/ Vendure Retirement Communities
Nelson seniors housing project to start construction in the spring

Private development on Vernon Street will provide assisted living services as well as housing

The fundraiser is anticipated to occur again next year. Photo: Deb Penner
Castlegar Blue Barn Pet staff raise $15,579 for charities

Staff decided to hold fundraiser after they had to cancel their pet festival this fall

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Blue Sky Kingdom.
Kimberley’s Bruce Kirkby publishes “Blue Sky Kingdom” documenting family adventure to Zanskar

Kirkby third book explores spirituality, mental health, modernity and tradition

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Most Read