Saturday, May 18, 2024

Premier Eby called out for ‘sidestepping opposition to fracking’ in BC


Over this weekend, MLAs from all over BC gathered in Victoria for the biennial BC NDP convention. 

This was the first convention held with Premier David Eby at the helm of the government and even Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDPs, came to the city to mark the occasion. 

During the weekend-long convention at Crystal Gardens Conference Centre, a group of avid environmental activists gathered for a peaceful protest outside the main entrance to the event. 

Frack Free BC, a grassroots organization whose goal is to end fracking in the province, say that hundreds of people gathered to have their voices heard and call for the government to listen to them.

They are calling on Premier Eby’s government to stop issuing new fracking permits, set a timeline to phase out existing fracked gas production and infrastructure and plan to support workers and communities in a transition to a more sustainable economy.

Over a dozen BC NDP members came out to speak about the subject to Frack Free BC and those who rallied behind them; however, a resolution that was to be spoken about inside the convention regarding ending fracking was reportedly tabled once again. 

According to the activist group, this is the third consecutive BC NDP convention to have resolutions about ending fracking and liquified natural gas (LNG) production tabled.

The resolution that was tabled at this year’s convention has the endorsement of 17 out of 87 electoral districts and those leading the protest were hoping by speaking about it at the convention, it would garner more support amongst the gathered members. 

“There is a critical mass of public and political opposition to the continued expansion of fossil fuel extraction,” says Ashley Zarbatany, Former Chair of the BC NDP Standing Committee on Environment and Economy.  

“The BC NDP cannot continue to avoid standing up to oil and gas companies that are fueling the climate crisis and it can’t keep hiding and pretending it is possible to reduce emissions while expanding fracking.”

Frack Free BC and the hundreds who gathered in the name of converting to clean energy hope that by gathering at the conference they will have left a lasting impression upon the BC NDP MLAs and that a resolution to end fracking might see the light of day before the next biennial convention which will be held in 2025.  

Curtis Blandy

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