Since my campaign started, we’ve talked with thousands of East Van voters and several important issues keep coming up. One of the most common? Where I, and the federal Green Party, stand on Kinder Morgan's proposed twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and the increase in tanker traffic it would bring here. I’m proud to say I oppose Kinder Morgan’s expansion unconditionally, and I’m the only major federal candidate in this riding who does.
Over the past two weeks, my campaign has received nearly 150 emails about Kinder Morgan, and I've taken the time to respond to every single one. Many of these have resulted in a relieved and energetic "thank you!" reply from voters, in part because of my position, but also because I responded at all. Of the four major federal parties running candidates in Vancouver East, only the Greens and the Liberals are responding to emails about Kinder Morgan.
At an All Candidates Panel on Commercial Drive this past Monday, the NDP candidate Jenny Kwan was asked publicly to comment on Kinder Morgan. She muffled her way through an answer, focusing on a ‘flawed review process’, without answering where she stands on the project.
While Kwan is silent via e-mail, or vague in public, regarding Kinder Morgan, she has been vocal on her support for LNG projects in BC if "they are done correctly." To quote a November 27, 2014 speech on Bill 6, the Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act (see video of the speech), Kwan says "the LNG industry is far too important to get wrong...in terms of how we proceed, how to move forward, and what the promises are from the government."
I disagree. "Getting LNG right" is getting it wrong, and Kinder Morgan it isn't just a problem of a ‘flawed review process’, it's a flawed philosophy regarding our economy, our communities and our environment. Getting LNG "right" further fuels global carbon emissions just as getting an NEB review process right for Trans Mountain will. Preserving our environment and investing in renewable energy are the issues that are ‘too important to get wrong’, not gambling our future on risky LNG and pipelines.
Vancouver East Voters Deserve Answers
Less than a year ago, municipal voters living in the neighbourhoods counted as part of Vancouver East sent a strong message to the NPA by electing Vision Vancouver and Green candidates who campaigned on standing against Kinder Morgan. Before that, they elected provincial MLAs in our region who pledged to stop Kinder Morgan.
That’s two elections in a row spent sending people to power who fight against issues like fracking, coal trains, and specifically the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion project. I have no doubt that those same voters want a Member of Parliament in Ottawa who will stand against environmental and economic threats, who will stand with communities and with First Nations defending their title and rights. Right now they have a clear choice.
You know where I stand. It’s time to find out where the NDP’s Jenny Kwan stands. And with two weeks until election day, her time is running out.