In search of Liberal preservationists

This just in from British Columbia’s highly regarded political commentator, Vaughn Palmer: “The rumour mill suggests … that the Liberals are moving away from their own development-minded supporters toward a more preservationist viewpoint.” ( link)

Not normally given to drawing from the rumour mill, Palmer is evidently listening to sources different than those that Dogwood Initiative is in regular communication with – BC’s First Nations, communities, landowners, environmentalists, parks advocates.

On the energy side, the government’s agenda is anything but preservationist. Aggressive promotion of offshore oil and gas, coalbed methane development, drilling adjacent to parks, dismantling of the Muskwa-Kechika, road expansion wherever the companies want to take their drilling activities – hardly the stuff of preservation.

In BC’s forests, the government is allowing interior forest companies to clearcut vast swaths of the province, using pine beetle infestation and/or fire damage as the pretext for permitting unprecedented levels of cut, and record raw-log shipping out of the province. The premier has proposed that cutting take place in parks, as well. For those companies, business has never been better.

We have a lot of respect for Vaughn Palmer, and we hope he’s right. But we have yet to see any evidence that the Gordon Campbell government has any preservationist tendencies at all.

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