VANCOUVER – B.C. Premier Christy Clark kept the focus on her government’s ambitious plans for a large-scale liquefied natural gas industry in the province as part of a wide-ranging interview with Global News, one year after her surprise election victory.
In her Vancouver office overlooking Coal Harbour, Clark sat down with senior reporter Jas Johal on Tuesday afternoon to talk about her first year in office.
She says LNG is a unique opportunity for the province, and it’s her job to seize that opportunity.
“As leader, it’s my job to grasp that opportunity and bring it home for the province,” says Clark. “I will do everything in my power to make LNG work. We have to try.”
Clark says if she doesn’t try, she doesn’t deserve to be Premier.
She says we need LNG to help pay for healthcare and education since our population is aging.
According to Clark, LNG is part of the reason her government was re-elected by British Columbians.
“They knew we were on the right side of history… that LNG will transform our economy, pay off debt, and create a better future for our children,” says Clark.
And she adds the multi-billion dollar Site C dam project is necessary to help power new LNG plants in B.C.
Clark also focused on education — with her government locked in a nasty, public battle with teachers — as an area in need of new thinking.
Her belief is the focus needs to be more about students and the quality of their education, and less about money.
“When we meet with the union, all we are talking about is money,” says Clark. “Kids need to be at the front of the agenda.”
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has been pushing the provincial government hard to help make a Broadway rapid transit line a reality, but Clark says her priority is replacing the Massey Tunnel.
“This is about economic growth,” says Clark. “And commuters are facing a big bottleneck too. Vancouver has a fantastic transit network – it’s not perfect – but the Massey Tunnel is a lot less perfect than Vancouver’s system.”
Clark also addressed controversy over the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Workers program.
She says the program needs to be used appropriately.
“British Columbians need to be first in line for jobs,” says Clark. “The Temporary Foreign Worker program is a last resort.”
With the recent spate of domestic violence cases in B.C., Clark says society needs to shift its attitude and make domestic violence as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving.
Clark says her government already spends $70 million supporting victims of domestic violence, but there’s only so much government alone can do.
Watch the full Global News interview here: