Victoria gets a taste of real politics

I spent the night in a den of wolves while a hundred good people shouted at the walls from out in the cold.

I spent the night in a den of wolves while a hundred good people shouted at the walls from out in the cold. It was Wednesday and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) was attempting to seduce municipal politicians from across the province with wine and cheese at the Royal BC Museum.

The event was packed with a dozen skilled public relations people and attended by 200 or so delegates from the Union of BC Municipalities on the eve of their vote on Resolution A8 to stop the expansion of oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coastal waters. Organized at the last minute by local activists at Social Coast, people lined the entrance to the Royal BC Museum, pleading with UBCM delegates to vote in favour of the resolution.

While Resolution A8 stops short of seeking a complete ban on oil tanker traffic, it does undermine the political legitimacy of any project that would expand traffic on our coast, including pipelines. The resolution demands “that UBCM urge the premier of British Columbia, the leader of the official opposition and members of the legislative assembly to use whatever legislative and administrative means that are available to stop the expansion of oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coastal waters.”

I was standing outside of a meeting between UBCM delegates and representatives of Kinder Morgan, watching activists strip down in the street and cover themselves in oil when I learned that A8 had scraped by with a three-vote majority on Thursday morning. The UBCM has no power to set provincial policy, but Thursday’s vote represents yet another nail in the coffin of the now infamous series of pipeline projects already opposed by First Nations, environmental advocates and average folks across B.C. and the country.

Despite our status as the provincial capital, Victoria rarely sees this side of politics. Instead, we picket the legislature while politicians wine and dine with oil tycoons deep within Vancouver’s forest of concrete.

By passing resolutions in favour of the decriminalization of marijuana and of halting the ceaseless plundering of our province’s natural environment, this year’s UBCM convention has given our sleepy little town a taste of real politics. While three votes is far from a landslide victory, locals can rest easy in the knowledge that The Capital won’t let this sort of thing slide past without a fight. M

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

Just Posted

FILM REVIEW: ‘1917’ portrays war on the run

Ordinary soldiers take on a seemingly impossible mission in Best Picture Oscar front runner

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Enjoy Valentine’s Day fun with daring date nights

From axe throwing to escape rooms to dance lessons, there’s many ways to have fun with a partner

Black History in B.C. celebrated throughout February

A variety of historical and cultural events are on tap around Greater Victoria

WATCH: Bedouin Soundclash opening their 2020 tour in Victoria

One of the 2000s’ biggest bands touring in support of 2019 release, MASS

Mathieu Poirier: Excitement builds for Victoria Beer Week

Tickets for March 6-14 celebration of all things crafty on sale now

Legendary reggae guitarist Al Anderson to hit the stage this week in Sidney

Member of Bob Marley’s band brings the Original Wailers to the Mary Winspear Centre Jan. 30

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Gene Simmons to launch new Titans of Rock music festival in Grand Forks

The rock legend has partnered with Chuck Varabioff to run Titans of Rock in Grand Forks

Music coffee house returns to Metchosin with new name

Java Jive Coffee House set to run every fourth Saturday at the Metchosin Community House

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

LONDON — Terry Jones, a founding member of the anarchic Monty Python… Continue reading

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

Most Read