Sonia Furstenau in the BC Legislature. Supplied by the Legislative Assembly of BC.
The BC Green Party is calling the Horgan government’s action plan meant to address 97 recommendations from a hydraulic fracturing report, “underwhelming.”
After releasing the report back in March, the New Democrats established a cross-government working group tasked with developing short and long-term plans for implementing the panel’s recommendations.
The Greens felt the report fell far short of expectations, stating that the province indicated that it was going to increase monitoring of hydrometric stations, complete mapping for more than 55 aquifers, and engage in outreach education.
Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau said investing in fossil fuels doesn’t make much sense when the data shows that clean, renewable energy is the way of the future.
“It makes more sense to invest in renewable energy and clean technology because it produces more jobs, it produces more jobs in [the] community, it doesn’t require people to go live away from home and work in camps,” said Furstenau. “We should be looking at how we are going to generate energy locally and in ways that are clean.”
The Greens have never been on board with continuing down the path of using fossil fuels as energy sources and Furstenau said clean, sustainable energy practices are the future and the government should look at the example of the Sooke First Nation.
“They have generated solar energy for their nation, but also as a business enterprise. The solutions exist to transform our economy and our energy sources,” said Furstenau. “As long as governments put their money and energies into their twentieth-century fossil fuel-driven energy economy, we’re not going to get out of this mess that we’re in.”
The independent report found that fracking – a process synonymous with generating massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and worsening climate change poses numerous unknown risks to the environment.
Earlier this month, the Trudeau Liberals drew the ire of many Canadians, as one day after the federal government declared a climate emergency, they approved the wildly contentious Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project.