Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald

MLA Norm Macdonald shifted to energy & mines portfolio

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald given a role as critic for energy and mines in NDP shadow cabinet.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald was given a new role as critic for energy and mines in NDP leader John Horgan’s new shadow cabinet.

“I’d been doing forestry, which I very much enjoyed for five years, but I think it’s time now to learn other things,” said Macdonald in an interview with the Times Review.

Macdonald had been the critic for forests, lands and natural resource operations since 2009.

Horgan, who was acclaimed leader of the NDP in May, announced his shadow cabinet in a news release Wednesday morning. The shadow cabinet is divided into two sectors — one for the economy, and one for stronger communities. Macdonald is part of the economic sector team.

Macdonald’s main focus will be on mining policy. He said that like his work in forestry, he will be focused on holding the government to account on what is happening to the land base. He brought up the recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that granted the Tsilhquot’in First Nation title over its land.

“The Tsqilhquot’in ruling raises lots of questions that the government has to understand and deal intelligently with,” he said. “Our role as the opposition is to push the government to work hard on these issues and to do the work they need to do to solve problems for these people.

“There’s no doubt that anything on the land base requires a sophisticated approach from government and the people on the ground who will do the work.”

Macdonald will also be in charge of working on overall energy policy, said Horgan. He will be working with Adrian Dix, the critic for BC Hydro, Bruce Ralston, the critic for natural gas development, and George Heyman, the critic for green economy and technology.

“When I was sitting down to see how I would parse out the area that I just represented over seven or eight years, it struck me the best course of action based on my experience was to make sure we had people singularly focused on elements of energy policy so they could do a better job of dismantling the mess the Liberals have made of it,” said Horgan, who was the critic for energy & mines prior to becoming party leader.

Macdonald said both natural gas and BC Hydro policy fascinate him. “There’s so much there that has been said that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, but the premier seems to be getting away with it for the most part so far, so we’ll see if we can push her on that,” he said.

He said he’s looking forward to working with his colleagues on the portfolio and sharing his expertise with others. “If you’re working with somebody, you both share the excitement of something significant,” he said.

The shift will see Macdonald pitted against Bill Bennett, the MLA for East Kootenay and Minister of Energy & Mines, who he has sparred with many times in the legislature. Macdonald said he is looking forward to going up against his East Kootenay rival. “On one issue after another we’ve battled and I certainly am excited about the prospect to add to that,” he said.

The shadow cabinet will be meeting in Vancouver on Thursday and Friday.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Historic railway equipment moved to Revelstoke museum

The Selkirk Spreader was built specifically for Revelstoke in 1931 and retired in 2005

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

WFN elects new chief

Westbank First Nation members elected Christopher Raymond Derickson Thursday night

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Carnivorous praying mantis put to work in the Shuswap and Okanagan

Insects introduced to the region in the 1930s to control grasshoppers eating crops

Most Read