B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson (green jacket) arrives at roadblock with a box of supplies, to meet with hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs at one of two protest camps blocking access to Morice River bridge, Jan. 6, 2019. Police would move in the next day to remove the barrier and arrest 14 people. (Twitter)

LETTER: Andrew Wilkinson says B.C. minister’s pipeline protest visit a bridge too far

Premier John Horgan should remove Doug Donaldson from cabinet, opposition leader says

By Andrew Wilkinson

If Premier John Horgan respects the oath he and his cabinet ministers swore to enforce the laws of British Columbia, he has no choice but to ask Forests Minister Doug Donaldson to resign.

Last weekend Minister Donaldson visited an illegal protest camp blocking the Coastal GasLink project. This is a project that was approved by the NDP government, and the NDP issued permits for the project signed by Minister Donaldson himself. And the BC Supreme Court has ordered that the obstruction of the project must stop. The RCMP are in the process of enforcing that court order.

It’s deeply hypocritical for the NDP to claim credit for delivering an LNG project to B.C. while also supporting an illegal protest to obstruct the same project.

But the most troubling aspect of Doug Donaldson’s attendance at the protest is that it shakes one of the pillars of our democracy: a government that makes laws must enforce those laws. It’s simply not possible in our democratic system for a minister to decide unilaterally to reverse the law.

RELATED: Donaldson defends visit to pipeline blockade

RELATED: Unist’ot’en protesters remove second barrier

All 20 of the elected band councils along the pipeline route support its development and also support the removal of the blockade. The project represents countless jobs, today and into the future. So however he claims it was intended, this was not just an innocent visit. Minister Donaldson represents the B.C. government. He is a member of the Cabinet that sets the rules for our society – he cannot ignore court orders, and he cannot change the law on a whim.

When the minister visited the protest, he signaled support for an illegal blockade that threatens opportunities for British Columbians. He told British Columbians that the government does not care about their jobs. He signaled that anyone interested in creating opportunity in B.C. will have to contend with a volatile, unreliable, anti-development NDP government.

Minister Donaldson has shown that NDP cabinet ministers can thumb their noses at the very rules, regulations, and laws they themselves create. If Premier Horgan allows the forests minister to stay on in cabinet, he is accepting this lack of respect for the law as the NDP way. That is a dangerous path for our democracy.

Andrew Wilkinson is leader of the B.C. Liberal Party.

Just Posted

Winter night’s delight at festival this Friday

Annual Snowflake Festival at Kinsmen Beach January 18th

Hurtling down the world’s mountains

Invermere’s Ben Thomsen having a stellar ski season

Mountainfilm on Tour returns

Event runs two nights this year, Feb 8-9th

Students lobby for a rainbow crosswalk

Council agrees to proposal for painted crosswalk at 13th Ave. and 13th St. intersection

Home values rise in Columbia Valley

30% rise in Canal Flats; 10% in Invermere

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read