Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC NDP reaffirms commitment to sustainability

Delegates to British Columbia New Democratic Party convention reaffirmed the party's commitment to sustainability, but not before members ripped the leadership for ignoring the principle in the 2009 election.

“I have to say I'm very frustrated to have to stand here at all to support this motion because it shouldn't have had to be here at all,” said Joan Sawicki, a former NDP environment minister.

In 2007 the convention approved a Sustainable B.C. policy document and passed a motion saying the 2009 campaign would be based on that document, she said.

“Those instructions were ignored,” she said. “I would suggest that a whole bunch of voters out there, especially young people who are turning their backs on our party because of that.”

The party has to do more than talk about green jobs and start talking about a total transformation to an environmentally sustainable economy, she said.

North Island MLA Claire Trevena said she was “immensely disappointed” that the party abandoned talking about sustainability in the election. “I think we would have won that election if we used Sustainable BC.”

Saanich South MLA Lana Popham also spoke in favour of the motion saying the party will fail future generations if it opts not to view issues through a sustainability lens. “When I was deciding whether or not to become part of this party I was looking for a home where I could put my commitment to the environment,” she said.

“I've said, and you've heard me say many times, that we didn't put enough of our positive vision out and the example would be the green bond,” said B.C. NDP leader Carole James.

The NDP had a proposal to raise money for environmental projects by offering a green bond, but didn't do a good enough job promoting it, she said.

“It's very clear you can't get a campaign and you can't get a platform out in 28 days,” she said. “I support the comments from folks who said we have to start that process now, we need to make sure it's ingrained, and we need to get it out earlier, well before the election.”

She said she has no regrets about the position the NDP took against the carbon tax and supports the party's position.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus