Did the B.C. Liberals gut B.C.’s climate action plan because of big money?

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VICTORIA – New Freedom of Information documents reveal the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, whose members donated over $3.6 million to the B.C. Liberals since 2011, received extensive secret backroom consultations on B.C.’s proposed Climate Action Plan.

“Was it $3.6 million in donations to the B.C. Liberals that led to the backroom consultation and eventual gutting of the climate action plan?” asked Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert. “We may never get the truth from the B.C. Liberals on this, but this is precisely why our new government banned big money.”

Back in 2015, the B.C. Liberal government commissioned a blue-ribbon panel of experts to make recommendations on a plan for climate action in British Columbia. The government then proceeded to ignore nearly every single one of the panel’s 32 recommendations. Newly uncovered documents are suggesting a picture of how we got there.

A scan of donations dating back to 2011 shows producer and associate members of CAPP donated over $3.6 million to the B.C. Liberals. This tally doesn’t even include donations from subsidiaries or owners and CEO’s.

The secret meetings, held in CAPP’s Calgary boardrooms, occurred over a three-month period after the Climate Leadership Panel made its final recommendations in October and before the province’s Climate Action Plan was announced in the spring.

“British Columbians deserve answers from the B.C. Liberals on the impact these consultations had on the final policy, which almost entirely abandoned the panel’s recommendations. With the way the B.C. Liberals did business, it’s no surprise they are fighting our new government’s proposal to bring in the strictest political finance laws in the country,” said Chandra Herbert.