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

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Busy summer has Oak Bay High on track for big year

Principal talks capstones, curriculum and back-to-school

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read