Former B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair didn't like it much

BC VIEWS: The NDP’s great leap backward

Leap Manifesto is a betrayal of Alberta premier Rachel Notley, and a millstone around John Horgan's neck

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan distanced himself as best as he could from the federal party’s decision to dump moderate leader Thomas Mulcair and spend the next couple of years debating the far-left crackpottery known as the Leap Manifesto.

“It’s a document that I don’t embrace personally,” Horgan told reporters at the legislature. “I believe there are elements in the document that make sense, and there are elements that make no sense in British Columbia.

“So we won’t be proceeding under any Leap Manifesto in the next 12 months under my leadership.”

Horgan didn’t specify what part of the manifesto he likes. Presumably it’s not the part about tearing up Canada’s free trade agreements, converting food production to local agrarian collectives or unilaterally dismantling our energy industry and replacing it with community-owned windmills and solar panels.

It can’t be the demand to stop all pipelines, because while the B.C. NDP doesn’t like oil, Horgan is in favour of natural gas exports to Asia. In general, that is. He’s now on record with the federal regulator that he’s against the Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG project with a terminal at Prince Rupert.

The Leap Manifesto is the brainchild of anti-capitalist Toronto author Naomi Klein, with support from Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. Its campus-radical cluelessness is perhaps best summed up by the format, which consists of 15 “demands.”

Here’s demand number six: “We want high-speed rail powered by just renewables and affordable public transit to unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.”

This demand effectively declares all of rural Canada irrelevant. By even considering it, the NDP risks doing the same.

Here’s number 11: “We must expand those sectors that are already low-carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public interest media.”

And how will “we” pay all these state-funded ballerinas and bloggers? Financial transaction taxes, increased resource royalties (until resource industries are killed off), a “progressive” carbon tax, and that old standby from the Occupy tent, higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

It’s hard to tell now, but the NDP was created to give political power to industrial workers. Horgan was asked if the party’s effort to win back industrial workers could be hampered by this potential lurch to the urban left.

“The difference between my hardhat and the premier’s hardhat is that my hardhat has union labels on it, and hers doesn’t,” Horgan replied.

As this statement was being made, the B.C. and Yukon Building Trades Council was meeting in Victoria. Its president, Tom Sigurdson, would use that event to host B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers and blast Horgan for opposing Pacific Northwest LNG.

In the 2013 election, then-NDP leader Adrian Dix made a mid-campaign decision to come out against the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion. Since then the NDP has opposed construction of the Site C dam on the Peace River. Horgan is in favour of hydroelectric power, you understand. Just not this project at this time.

Perhaps the most stunning thing about the federal NDP’s fling with the Leap Manifesto was that it was staged in Edmonton. It came as a direct rejection of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who faces the grim reality of an oil and gas slump.

Notley has promised a carbon tax and the end of coal-fired power generation, moves that no NDP government has proposed, much less implemented.

Her own pretending-to-be-green party ignored and betrayed her.

Horgan wandering around in a hardhat is looking like a tougher sell every day.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca Twitter: @tomfletcherbc

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Greater Victoria liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

Victoria fills more than 100 motel rooms with homeless population

Mayor says staffing is the biggest issue impacting opening of Royal Athletic Park

Esquimalt’s Buccaneer Days cancelled due to COVID-19

The pirate-themed fair will take place in 2021

‘Small python’ found in vacant Cook Street apartment

Snake taken to CRD Animal Shelter to be claimed

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read