BRIAN KIERAN: NDP’s Dix is singing the enviro-song

One of B.C.’s longest serving public servants, Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney, can see Adrian Dix surfing the leading edge...

One of B.C.’s longest serving and most respected public servants, Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney, can see NDP leader Adrian Dix surfing the leading edge of an orange electoral tsunami and the legendary Vancouver Island mayor is deeply troubled.

In fact, Furney is so worried that he has sent a three-page letter to every fellow mayor, municipal councillor and regional district director in the province asking them to pay attention to what is about to happen.

Furney — who’s been on the Port McNeill council for 44 years, 35 of them in the mayor’s chair — knows we don’t have a lot of choice in B.C. when it comes to political change. We endure change knowing we are condemned to suffer the consequences of our polarized political landscape. Recent polling tells us that more than 60 per cent of B.C. voters believe it is time for a different government; they are eager for, or resigned to, new leadership.

Furney’s letter states: “It is incumbent on us all to ensure that the (politicians) we elect are sincerely supportive of the jobs in our vulnerable resource industries. Regardless of political affiliation, each candidate should be asked a simple question: ‘Do you support the industries that are the backbone of our resource dependent economy?’

“The economy of our province is dependent on healthy resource industries … but public relations assaults on these resource sectors and the people that they support continue with multi-millions in financial help from U.S. foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.”

Furney says: “The big money pays for full-page advertisements in local, national and international newspapers … denigrating our industries, their workers and our local, provincial and national governments. A gullible public, especially in large cities, laps it up.”

Although he doesn’t come right out and say it, Furney is worried that an NDP administration in Victoria will pump fresh supplies of political oxygen into these environmental campaigns. Are those fears well founded? Of course they are.

Dix is already singing off the enviro-song sheet. Last week he reversed himself on the issue of the twinning of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline to Vancouver. He had initially promised to withhold judgment until the company had actually submitted an application to the National Energy Board. Now he has abandoned that “principled approach” and scuttled the project in a game of campaign catch-up with the Green Party.

He is also foreshadowing the death of this province’s experiment with small community-based energy projects such as run-of-river. He wants BC Hydro to review independent power project (IPP) contracts “to ensure British Columbians receive the best value for their dollars.” This move has very little to do with value for money and very much to do with a well-funded, pervasive campaign by unionized BC Hydro workers to protect jobs and turf. Right on cue, the NDP’s West Vancouver-Sea to Sky candidate Ana Santos, founder of the Squamish Climate Action Network, is denouncing the “gluttonous approach” the Liberals have taken with IPPs and she is suggesting a Dix-led government will question whether it needs this form of power at all.

In the months to come when we start to fully appreciate just what kind of change we have endorsed on May 14, we may want to remind ourselves of Mayor Furney’s eleventh hour appeal for political clarity on behalf of our resource-dependent communities. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Most Read