Monday, July 22, 2024

Climate protesters attend BC’s cabinet swearing-in ceremony in Victoria


An alliance of environmental and climate activist groups have banded together under the name Frack Free BC.

As Wednesday marks the day the Premier David Eby will be swearing in his cabinet along with Lieutenant Governor Jane Austin, the environmental activist group has decided to set up shop on the front lawn of the Government House in Victoria where the ceremony will be taking place. 

The group will be calling on Premier Eby and his newly appointed cabinet to follow through with his climate promise to stop the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure saying that fracking is used in 91% of gas production in BC.

In their effort for a peaceful but impactful protest, they’ve erected fracking rigs on the front lawn of the Government House. 

“Premier Eby is right, we can’t keep expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and still meet our climate targets,” says Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaigns Manager with Dogwood BC.

“We are here today to make it clear that the new cabinet’s actions on fracking and liquid natural gas (LNG) will be the litmus test for the BC NDP’s commitment to climate leadership, and will be closely watched by climate voters within and beyond the party.”

There are currently five proposed LNG projects on the west coast and Frack Free BC claims that BC gas emissions will be through the roof if they are approved. 

Two of these projects will be on the forefront of climate voters’ minds in BC–the Cedar LNG project in Kitimat and the Tilbury Marine Jetty LNG project in the mouth of the Fraser River. Premier Eby and his cabinet will have to decide whether to green light these projects early in their term. 

Frack Free BC says that 19% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the oil and gas industry. In 2020, 12.4 megatonnes of carbon dioxide was created which they claim equates to adding 2.7 million vehicles to BC’s roads. 

(CleanBC’s Climate Change Accountability Report)

There are over 27,000 fracking wells in BC which are mostly in the northeastern region of the province. 

“Fracking is harmful to water, air, land and human health,” said Frack Free BC in a media release. 

“People who live in communities close to fracking sites experience increased rates of rare cancers and reproductive concerns.”

“Frack Free BC is calling on Eby to stop issuing permits for fracking, and set a date to phase out this toxic and dangerous industry.”

According to the alliance of climate activists, BC is not on track to meet their targets laid out in the 2022 Climate Change accountability Report and they say this is because of LNG projects. 

They say that we are also going to fall short of the 2030 goal if we continue on the current trajectory, especially if the new LNG projects are green lit by Premier Eby and his cabinet. 

“Premier Eby was the Attorney General during the violent and illegal raids and arrests of Wet’suwet’en People and supporters,” said Chief Na’moks, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief.

“Now as Premier, he must stop these violent acts and publicly state that these projects that add to the climate catastrophes will no longer be supported and funded by British Columbia.”

The protest on the lawn of the Government House is meant to be a peaceful one. The ceremony however, is taking place indoors and began at 10 a.m. 

Curtis Blandy

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