Published On: Friday, 11 August 2017
First Steps of GreeNDP Government Sounds Like Return of War on Resource Industries
- Mark MacDonald is the Publisher of the Business Examiner News Group, and President of Invest Northwest Publishing.
BC - First impressions count, and for that reason, the initial steps of the GreeNDP government make clear they intend to carry out their threats towards BC’s resource-based industries.
Kinder Morgan has announced it is on target for starting construction of the twinning of its pipeline in September. It has to go, and must get started.
Yet the GreenDP government is signaling loud and long they will do anything and everything within its power to stop it. If they are ultimately successful, it would be a triumph for anarchy, as government decisions will prove to be undermine-able by vocal, minority special interest groups.
Not that it will do any good, as the federal Liberal government has given the project the green light. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau changing from the lane he drove during the 2015 election to okay the much-needed project, that will speed up delivery of this valuable resource to port for export.
Politically, it looks like the Greens are banking on their opposition to Kinder Morgan being enough to appease supporters, while the NDP can bleat about fighting the project, knowing it can’t and won’t win, yet keeping the jobs because the pipeline will still be built.
Premier John Horgan has initiated his promised review of the Site C dam, and it’s anyone’s guess whether or not he has the courage to scrap the project and issue pink slips to 2,200 workers. Whether or not he does, the political decision is bad for business, and expensive.
Delaying the dam means builders will miss out on critical construction time in a season when the northern BC weather isn’t prohibitive. The companies involved thus far have to be nervous, awaiting a “will he/won’t he” decision that will impact their bottom lines. If the project is scrapped, these companies will demand restitution, through the courts if necessary.
If this is the end of Site C, then all the work done thus far is utterly wasted. As is the opportunity to add more affordable electricity to the provincial power grid. As demand increases, supply must also. If supply doesn’t increase, then prices will go up. Either way it goes, taxpayers will foot the bill – for construction delays, settlements with companies, or higher electricity bills.
Now that the Greens are part of an actual government, everyone sees what they’ve been about all along. The Green’s veiled goal is to stop resource-based economy. Period. They may use platitudes like “studies”, etc., but make no mistake, they believe resource extraction is evil, and believe it is their “moral duty” to stop such actions, regardless of how many people who make their livings that way it will hurt. They don’t care.
They’ve learned how to stop everything. Delay, delay, delay. Whether it’s Kinder Morgan, Site C, or local development. Delaying projects causes cash flow problems for companies, and only the deep pocketed and stubbornly committed endure to completion. It’s financial death by a thousand cuts, or studies and regulations.
It’s puzzling to watch Green leader Andrew Weaver acquiesce to every NDP demand, settling only for electoral reform, particularly if it’s proportional representation, ensuring the party seats in perpetuity. That one plank is perhaps the most troubling of all, as they could be positioned to grind every major project to a screeching halt.
What the NDP did to win as many seats as they did in May was concentrate on the lower mainland, using what they dubbed the “housing crisis” as their main message. They didn’t pay attention to the regions of the province that are less populated and resource-dependent. Northern BC and the Interior aren’t as MLA-rich as the Greater Vancouver region, so they basically ignored them. To all of BC’s peril, really, including the lower mainland.
In the GreeNDP’s anti-resource push is the misunderstanding that the head offices of the mining and forestry companies are largely based in Vancouver. There are many, many jobs that pay far north of six figures in the province’s financial centre that are a direct result of the operations that take place in the “industrial parks”, aka the mines and sawmills around the province.
So, how exactly will the GreeNDP carry out their mandate for more affordable housing?
That’s where the electorate just doesn’t pay attention. The issue is supply and demand. There isn’t enough supply, so demand – and prices – goes up.
It’s not the provincial government that allows subdivisions – it’s cities and municipalities. Many of these governments stonewall development wherever possible, under the guise of controlling growth. What they are unwittingly doing, though, is limiting supply, which drives up prices.
And non-free enterprisers never seem to understand that.
The answer to ever increasing housing prices is not provincially legislated taxation or regulation, because it is municipal governments that decide whether buildings or developments can be built.
If voters are upset at housing prices, they should be vocalizing that against their local governments that prohibit growth. Yet the GreeNDP did an effective brainwashing of the electorate to lay the “blame” for rising house prices on Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. It worked, but what now happens is that the NDP suggested solution – provincial involvement – is about to be put on full display.
We will find out soon enough that the NDP – which is at constant loggerheads with builders and developers – needs that sector to help them carry out their campaign promises and wishes.
They will get that assistance if builders and developers can identify true opportunities for success and profits. Which, if their answer is building affordable housing, will come directly from the taxpayers’ purse. And watch out for rent controls, another market manipulation for which socialists clamor.
The NDP is back in power, BC Get ready to pay.