Closed for Business? Uncertain future for BC’s resource industry under the NDP government

Peter Milobar Photography by John Lehmann


VICTORIA (July 24, 2017) – John Horgan’s hand-picked choices for top cabinet posts in the NDP government send a worrying message for British Columbia’s resource industry and the workers that depend on resource jobs.

Mining, forestry, and natural gas are integral parts of BC’s economy that provide good paying jobs for communities and thousands of families across the province.

The BC Liberal Caucus is particularly concerned that major LNG projects in British Columbia are now at risk under the anti-resource industry shadow being cast by the NDP government.

Michelle Mungall, now the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, didn’t mince words about British Columbia’s liquefied natural gas industry: “it ain’t good for anybody in this province” (Hansard – July 14, 2015).

Her appointment also raises serious questions about how the NDP government will continue to pursue and access new markets for British Columbia’s resources and support jobs, given her past declaration: “When we talk about free trade, it’s not the people who benefit” (Nelson Daily News – April 27, 2009). Increased trade leads to growth at home in British Columbia, meaning more jobs in mining and elsewhere in the natural resources sector.

George Heyman, now the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, previously served as Executive Director of Sierra Club BC, an activist organization that has called for the cancelation of Site C, which supports over 2,000 jobs in British Columbia. Heyman dismissed the project as “a white elephant mega-project” (National Observer – April 21, 2017). Under his watch, Sierra Club BC claimed that the Government of British Columbia needed to “take a huge step back from their aggressive pursuit of unconventional gas and fracking” (Vancouver Sun – October 22, 2012).

Unlike the BC Liberals, John Horgan’s NDP government has not publicly released mandate letters, offering little certainty about the government’s agenda for these important files.

“It’s clear that the NDP cares more about catering to special interests and an anti-jobs ideology than they do about supporting resource jobs in British Columbia,” said Peter Milobar, BC Liberal MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “British Columbia’s resource workers need a government that supports their jobs, has their backs, and stands up for them, instead of a government that acts as their main critic.”

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