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Site C approval based on politics, not evidence: May



Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May says Ottawa’s approval of the Site C dam and Petronas LNG project were more about appeasement than science.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Bill Phillips photo
Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Bill Phillips photo

“I think what happened goes back to the carbon price dramas,” May said to a crowd of about 150 at UNBC on Friday. “In order to get all the provinces to agree to a carbon price, getting Alberta on board was really important. Rachel Notley was someone that (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau and his people really liked and they all went around says ‘well Rachel needs a pipeline.’”

Subsequently, the federal government gave its stamp of approval to the Kinder Morgan’s plan to twin the TransMountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

May said she believes the Liberals were in a quandary that if if Notley and Alberta gets the pipeline it wants, then B.C. and then-Premier Christy Clark would have to get something as well. At that time, B.C. was heading into an election and Clark had already voiced misgivings about the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

“So Christy has to get Site C permits, Petronas LNG permits, and Woodfibre LNG permits,” said May. “All decisions that go against the core of what I expected from a Trudeau Liberal administration because of the promises of evidence-based decision-making, indigenous relationships etc. All of those pieces were part of a political trade-off. There’s a large degree of cognitive dissonance going on. It’s a story you can put in the file of ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’”

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