Clark’s interest piqued by referendum idea

As a news reporter in Sicamous, the opportunity to chat face to face with a B.C. premier is rare indeed.

As a news reporter in Sicamous, the opportunity to chat face to face with a B.C. premier is rare indeed.

When my mom learned I’d be meeting with Christy Clark on Monday, she seemed impressed – proud in fact. And perhaps a bit opportunistic, for she was quick to ask that I relay a question to the premier on her behalf. Well, more of a request really.

My mom asked me to ask the premier to consider putting the Enbridge pipeline question to a public referendum. She didn’t say if she was for or against.

While I know my mom, a Vancouverite, to casually follow local and provincial politics, I was kind of surprised by this request. But then, headlines involving Enbridge haven’t exactly been reassuring as of late. In fact, this pipeline proposal is something every British Columbian should be interested in, if not concerned about. The company’s most recent promises to the B.C. government, to beef up security and use extra-thick pipe for sections of the proposed Northern Gateway project that cross water, was quickly eclipsed by news of another Enbridge pipeline leak in Wisconsin, where an estimated 1,000 barrels were lost. This prompted U.S. Representative Ed Markey to comment that Enbridge is to the Midwest what BP was to the Gulf of Mexico.

Clark, meanwhile, has been making headlines of her own on the Enbridge issue. She recently ruffled feathers in the Alberta government by insisting that a list of conditions must be met before the B.C. government would consider allowing Enbridge to run its pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to Kitimat.

While she was well-prepared for my questions about Sicamous and the province’s response to the community’s concerns relating to the recent flooding, Clark seemed surprised, albeit pleasantly, when I explained and presented my mom’s request. After some thought, she explained the B.C. government is still gathering information and would have to make sure that everyone is completely informed before there would be any consideration of going to referendum.

“We don’t have enough information about what the whole proposal will look like,” said Clark. “Enbridge changed it two weeks ago, so we don’t even know what the pipeline proposal is going to look like. The federal government’s spill response is not up to snuff yet, so there’s a ton of work that would need to be done before we got there. But I have a feeling I know where British Columbians are on this. They say protect our government, get our fair share. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Clark called the referendum an “interesting idea,” and told me to tell my mom she would think about it a little further down the road.

I have yet to share this information with my mom (we talk by phone every Sunday morning), but I’m sure she will be pleased the premier was willing to answer her question.

Just knowing you’ve been heard can mean a lot.

As for Clark’s response, I’ll have to see how that goes over.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP report that suspect in North Shuswap threatened to kill neighbours

Police say man was arrested with loaded weapons inside vehicle and residence

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Salmon Arm city staff say rain predicted could flood tunnel, causing beach closure

Sandbagging continues for flood-prone areas around Shuswap, Mara lakes

Shuswap Emergency Program closely monitoring water levels

Shuswap caregiver a hero in husband’s eyes

Night and day shifts leave little time for Tracy and Rick Duncan

City of Enderby issues flood caution reminder

Rain in Sunday weather forecast could increase water levels and flow

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

Mother bear and two cubs spotted in West Kelowna

Residents of Shannon Lake are urged to be on the look out for three bears in the area

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

Youth filmmakers tackle technology addiction, relationships, cyber-bullying

The Kelowna couple won a grant from Telus STORYHIVE

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Dyer: I left my heart in the desert

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read