VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An independent think tank says it has documents showing the previous provincial government allowed the oil and gas industry to try to shape government policy.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says it has documents showing the former BC Liberal government asked the oil and gas industry to refine a government-appointed climate panel’s recommendations.
The centre’s Shannon Daub says the previous government put industry ahead of its population.
“It (industry leaders) decamped with senior government officials to another province, a province with whom British Columbia has some challenging relationships specifically in relation to fossil fuel infrastructure and actually made an invitation to industry to shape the substance and the language of the province’s climate plan.”
The Climate Leadership Team met with those industry leaders from companies like Shell and Chevron in Calgary, taking that input before releasing the Climate Leadership Plan last year.
Former natural gas minister and current interim BC Liberal leader Rich Coleman says everything was above board.
“Our folks that were responsible for climate action were sent out to consult with everybody, including the petroleum industry, plus forestry and all the rest of them relative to climate action. Because you have to measure your competitiveness globally.”
The optics aren’t good says current environment minister George Heyman.
“Bringing industry in to discuss the impacts and how they can help meet targets is important. But it’s important to do it in a way that builds public trust, a way that is open and transparent, so that the public believes all sectors have the ear of government.”
The plan was implemented last year but in the end, did not fully adopt any of the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations.