Green party leader Andrew Weaver has called on Environment minister Mary Polak

Greens call for Langley MLA Polak to resign as environment minister

Critic says provincial response to environmental crises has been subpar

Saying it’s time for Environment minister Mary Polak “to either do her job or step down” B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has called on the Langley MLA to resign.

“I do not call for this lightly,” Weaver said.

“I now lack confidence in Minister Polak to uphold the obligations outlined in her ministerial mandate letter. As such, I am calling for her to be replaced by a minister who will stand up for the people of B.C. and the water and environment that we all rely on.”

Weaver said the Christy Clark government has crippled the Environment Minister’s ability to protect communities, citing as “subpar” the response to “environmental tragedies” like the Mt. Polley mine breach that spilled millions of cubic metres of tailings and mine waste into nearby waterways, the battle over a contaminated soil treatment facility and landfill near Shawnigan lake, and a diesel spill in the waters near Bella Bella.

“The ministry’s responsibilities have too often been neglected, forcing citizens to step in and try to protect the environment themselves,” Weaver said.

“It is appalling that the B.C. Liberals can look British Columbians in the eye and tell them that they have a climate leadership plan,” Weaver said.

“They are not climate leaders, and they don’t even have a plan.”

The Weaver statement included comments from Sonia Furstenau, CVRD Director and the B.C. Green Party candidate for Cowichan Valley, who said people in Shawnigan are “suffering from ongoing stress and anxiety while the Ministry of Environment allows for ongoing non-compliance with the contaminated landfill permit.”

As of Friday, over 1280 people have signed an online petition calling for the Environment Minister’s resignation, Weaver said.

In response, the environment ministry has issued a written statement that said the provincial government’s work to protect the environment has been “extensive” and marine spill response is a federal responsibility.

“Whether overhauling the century-old water act, launching a first-ever provincial spill response plan, legislating emissions limits on LNG facilities or maintaining the highest and broadest carbon price in North America, British Columbia is far ahead of the rest of Canada” the statement said.

It went on to say the province is pushing  the federal government to add more resources to handle marine spills.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Sooke couple’s elaborate Christmas display

Couple has been adding to tiny village display for past 11 years

Otter Point Fire Department hosts 26th Polar Bear Swim

Annual event takes place Jan. 1 at Whiffen Spit beach in Sooke

William Head fence debate a big deal out of nothing says officials

Metchosin Mayor John Ranns met with William Head warden Thursday

CRD divided over fire dispatch, agrees to investigate single site option

‘Saanich taxpayers have been subsidizing fire dispatch in the region for several years’

UPDATE: Sooke resident gears up to break world record in squats

The day is fast approaching when Sooke resident Kris Winther will attempt… Continue reading

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

VIDEO: Colquitz students cram Saanich Police cruisers with food

Food literally burst out of the door from Const. Lisa Bruschetta’s cruiser

Esquimalt Drydock awarded millions in contracts for North Island ferry upgrade

BC Ferries vessel Northern Sea Wolf arrives this week from Athens, Greece

Most Read