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

Still no firm plan for cold-weather shelter in Parksville

BC Housing says community partners will present their plans in ‘coming weeks’

Person airlifted to hospital from Parksville Community Park

Police say ‘no danger to the public’ following incident

RCMP looking for missing 26-year-old woman, last seen in Parksville

Public asked for assistance finding Felicia Olteanu

Car crashes on Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay

Single-lane alternating traffic on Northwest Bay at Wall Beach Road

Ballenas JV Whalers reach final four in Subway Bowl competition

Gridiron squad tames Timberwolves 28-6, will face South Kamloops in semifinals

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

Most Read