Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy. As disillusioned as we can get, remember your voice counts. If you are eligible to vote, you possess a little piece of power. And during election season we come together in gymnasiums, churches and town halls to join all of our little pieces together into a collective force and select representatives to speak and act on our behalves and to fight for the kind of society we want to live in.

The upcoming provincial election in British Columbia is such a time. It’s not only your vote that has power; your words have power, too. What you say to your candidates and to your friends and family before May 14th will help shape the agenda for our next government.

Our mission is to make sure the threat of oil tankers and pipelines is as high on the agenda as possible. To that end, the best we can do here at Dogwood Initiative is spread the facts in a non-partisan way about where our parties and candidates stand.

Here is an explanation of where the parties stand.

B.C. Liberals have avoided making a decision for or against oil tanker proposals, first by giving away B.C.’s power to conduct its own environmental assessment to the federal government, then by pointing to the deeply flawed federal review process and then coming up with five conditions upon which to base further consideration – all without actually making a decision. With the final phase of the Enbridge hearings coming to a close in May, including final arguments made by the B.C. government, Premier Christy Clark still has not announced a clear stance on either major project. So no check marks for them. An in-depth look at the B.C. Liberals’ stance on oil tankers can be found here.

The B.C. NDP have declared firm opposition to Enbridge’s oil tanker and pipeline proposal and have promised to take back the right for B.C. to conduct its own environmental assessments of these projects. On April 22, NDP leader Adrian Dix announced his party’s opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to turn “Vancouver into a major oil export port” and said it would also undergo a made-in-B.C. review. Two check marks for them. An in-depth look at the NDP’s stance on oil tankers can be found here.

The B.C. Green Party has long been in favour of halting the expansion of bulk crude oil tanker traffic on our coast, including proposals by Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, and they’ve been public about it. So they get double check marks.

The B.C. Conservative Party’s leader John Cummins has announced support for both Enbridge and Kinder Morgan’s proposals, qualified by an intent to make sure they are as safe as possible. Of course our view is ‘as safe as possible’ inevitably includes accidents, and all it would take is one accident for lives and livelihoods to be ruined, so the party gets no check marks. However, at least one candidate, Mike Brousseau of Skeena, has broken ranks with the party and declared his opposition to Enbridge.

Independent candidate Bob Simpson in Cariboo North is firmly opposed to both Enbridge and Kinder Morgan’s oil export plans, seeing them as not in the best interests of B.C. Independent candidate Vicki Huntington in Delta South is opposed to Enbridge’s proposal for the north coast but has not taken a position on Kinder Morgan’s plans for our south coast.

If you hear of any individual candidates straying from the party line, please post a comment to this blog.

Did you find this information helpful? We need your help to spread the word. Dogwood Initiative has registered as an official election advertising sponsor and we’re counting on volunteers to get these facts out. Share the graphic on social media.

Now that you have all the facts, we need you to Pledge To Vote For The Coast. It’s vital that we commit to getting out to vote for candidates who will stand up for our coast. Please help seal the deal by pledging to Vote For Our Coast today.