Nicole Cherlet for the BC NDP, Samson Boyer for the BC Greens and Doug Clovechok for the BC Liberals will be your choices on the ballot in the upcoming provincial election. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

BC VOTES: Fact checking claims from Columbia River Revelstoke candidate forum

The Revelstoke Review hosted a candidate forum on Oct. 20

This week the Revelstoke Review hosted an election forum for provincial candidates vying to be the MLA for the Columbia-River Revelstoke Riding.

Promises were made and candidates tossed around numbers and facts. So, the Review decided to research the claims.

Did we miss anything? Let us know by emailing jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com.

Population growth in B.C.

Doug Clovechok, candidate for the BC Liberal Party said our province grows in population by 60,000 people every year. This estimate is close.

According to the government of B.C.’s population estimates, there was 5.071 million people in the province in 2019, up 70,000 from 2018. In 2017 the population estimated to have grown by 77,000 and in 2016 by 65,000.

Clovechok quoted this number when identifying housing as one of the top concerns in Revelstoke.

“People want to live here but they also need a place to live and in our platform we have offered a $1.7 billion housing plan that will occur over three years,” Clovechok said.

Endangered species

Samson Boyer, candidate for the BC Greens, said there are over 1,000 endangered species in the province and because B.C. does not have an endangered species act these species do not have real protection. The first statement is false and the second is partly true.

The B.C. government sorts species and ecosystems into a red, yellow and blue list. The red list is species that are at risk or being lost, either extirpated, endangered or threatened.According to the BC Conservation Data Centre there are 784 entries on the red list, however, some species may be counted more than once if they are assessed at another taxonomic level.

While the provincial government does not have an endangered species law, one was mandated in 2017 and is being developed.

In the absence of this legislation, the management of at risk populations and habitats are managed through a motley assortment of laws: the provincial Wildlife Act, the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Oil and gas Activities Act, the Ecological Reserves Act, the Park Act and the Land Act. The federal Species at Risk Act as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora also applies.

Horgan says ‘addiction is a choice’

Doug Clovechok claimed John Horgan said “addiction is a choice.” This is true.

On July 16, 2020, The Canadian Press reported Horgan said drug users initially make the choice to use and then become dependent. However, Horgan apologized the next day, saying “That’s not my point of view. I mischaracterized the situation and I regret that very much.”

READ MORE: B.C. Premier apologizes, says he misspoke on comments about drug addiction

Dr. Henry says ‘decriminalize illicit drugs’

Nicole Cherlet claimed Dr. Bonnie Henry is vocal in her support of the decriminalization of illicit drugs. This is true.

In April 2019, Henry said in a report that if the province wants to stop illicit drugs from wiping out thousands of people, it must decriminalize street drugs.

READ MORE: ‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Trans Canada Highway projects

Doug Clovechok claimed there has been no progress on twinning the Trans Canada Highway in our riding in the last 3.5 years, saying the ongoing project at the Illecillewaet Brake Check was started prior to the NDP term. Part of this is true.

The Donald to Forde Station Road project, which included four-laning a portion of the Trans Canada Highway east of Golden, was announced by the NDP in 2017 and construction started in 2018.

The BC Liberal government announced $35 million funding for the project in 2015.

READ MORE: Construction starts on Hwy. 1 upgrades near Golden

READ MORE: Funding announced for Trans-Canada project near Revelstoke

However, the tender for the contract was awarded in 2019 for $85.2 million, which is cost shared between the federal government and the province.

READ MORE: Contract awarded for Highway 1 four-laning project near Revelstoke

READ MORE: $63 million Highway 1 upgrade project up for tender

The Kicking Horse Canyon project, which would see a section of the Trans-Canada Highway twinned east of Golden, has not yet started.

READ MORE: Major Highway 1 upgrades near Golden inches closer to construction

Site C and LNG projects

Samson Boyer claimed Site C and the LNG projects are costing B.C. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. This is misleading.

It is not the provincial government that is paying for the Site-C project but BC Hydro. A revised budget for BC Hydro’s Site-C Dam in 2018 totalled $10.7 billion.

READ MORE: $1.6B contract one of three awarded for Site C dam in northeastern B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. Hydro’s Site C set back by COVID-19, foundation changes

LNG Canada is a $40-billion project to deliver natural gas by pipeline from Dawson Creek to Kitimat where it will be liquefied for overseas export. It is a venture partnership between Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and KOGAS.

The project is not funded by tax payer dollars, however, there is a natural gas income tax credit for LNG development. LNG Canada’s project is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and up to 950 permanent jobs, according to a news release from the province in March 2019. The province also expects $23 billion in new government revenues over the life of the project.

READ MORE: Okanagan company wins contract for Kitimat LNG project

Climate Action BC plan most aggressive on the continent

Nicole Cherlet claimed the NDP’s Climate Action BC plan is the most aggressive plan against climate change on the continent. This is hard to verify.

Canada’s nationally determined contributions to the United Nations Paris Agreement were to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent, compared to levels in 2005, by 2030.

In the Climate Action Plan, the B.C. government committed to reducing emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, compared to 2007.

According to the 2019 accountability report, emissions decreased in the province by two per cent from 2007 to 2017, while the economy grew by 23 per cent.

In Ontario, the provincial government aimed to have reduced emission levels by 15 per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and is aiming for a 37 per cent decrease by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. They claim to have met their target of a six per cent decrease between 1990 and 2014.

New York State has the goal to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and 85 per cent by 2050.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

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