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

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

Tanya Finley will run as the Nelson-Creston candidate for the BC Liberals in the upcoming election. Photo submitted
Tanya Finley will run as the Nelson-Creston candidate for the BC Liberals in the upcoming election. Photo submitted
Election 2020: Tanya Finley

The second of four interviews with the Nelson-Creston candidates

Nelson’s Brian Boyes has been awarded a provincial honour for coaching junior golfers. Photo: Submitted
Nelson golf coach wins provincial honour

Bryan Boyes was honoured for his work with young golfers

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read