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COMMENTARY · 3rd March 2015
Mark Clements
It is hard to keep a straight face listening to Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s bragging of yet another balanced budget. Since Christy Clark has been in power, the provincial debt has gone up billions of dollars every year, and is headed to surpass 70 billion by the end of 2017.
If we pay attention to writers such as Naomi Klien or David Suzuki, Western Canada’s financial future is in serious trouble, due to its over reliance on non- renewable resources that negatively affect the atmosphere.
Suzuki recently called British Columbia’s natural gas fracking to produce LNG a “dumb idea”, and Klien is a global leader in the fight against the development of Alberta’s tar sands,
Moreover; large financial powerhouses such as Rockefeller fund and the Berkshire Hathaway company are dramatically reducing their holdings from the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, for Western Canada, protecting the environment from climate change will be dominating theme for the 21 century.
It is to hard imagine a company developing an expansive new LNG industry in the far North, when fracking for natural gas has such a negative reputation and climate change issues are looming over it.
If oil and gas from fracking procedures have a limited future at best and the forest industry has a zero chance of real growth due to the pine beetle kill, Northern British Columbia needs a sovereign wealth fund more than ever.
Christy Clark must live up to her campaign promise of a Prosperity Fund, and produce a law that prohibits government from spending any revenue from non –renewable resources. It’s that easy.
Many jurisdictions throughout the world have sovereign wealth funds .Why not us?
It is immoral to Northern British Columbia‘s future generations, to deplete our resource base and load up debt for short term political gain.
If climate change projections are indisputable, polluting the world with fracked oil and gas, mining ore, tar sands, and clear cutting forest will become globally unacceptable.
Climate change issues will eventually be reflected in a permanent low Canadian dollar.
Sooner or later, Northern public backlash will be overwhelming towards government spending resource revenue without a saving plan in place.