From our Executive Director, Barry Janyk:


Hard to believe it but the election drama has finally concluded with a minority NDP government. John Horgan was sworn in as BC’s 36th Premier on Tuesday afternoon in the midst of the worst wildfires BC has ever witnessed and the second week of a declared provincial emergency. It will be a true trial by fire for both Premier Horgan and his partners in governance: Andrew Weaver and the Green Party of BC.

So what will all these theatrics mean to the Federation? Well, leaving the Environment Minister’s portfolio is West Van Sea to Sky Liberal MLA Jordan Sturdy, the former mayor of Pemberton, and an individual who was well acquainted with the critical issues afflicting the inundated Sea to Sky corridor—perhaps the most overwhelmed region in the province. While some members may feel MLA Sturdy was ineffectual as a backbencher, we will likely never know what he may have contributed as Minister. I believe that MLA Sturdy could become a real ally in the Legislature and his riding. And don’t look to him become the opposition’s environment critic any time soon.

The premier has chosen MLA George Heyman as our Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Minister Heyman previously sat as Her Majesty’s Opposition Environment critic for the previous term. George Heyman is known for two major careers before entering provincial politics: head of the BCGEU from 1991 to 2008 and Executive Director of the Sierra Club of BC from 2009 to 2012.

Given the new minister’s background and resume, it’s reasonable to assume the departments in the Environment and Climate Change ministry portfolio—BC Parks especially—could finally receive real and warranted consideration.

Add to this the obvious interest of the Greens in such things as the wilderness, pollution, conservation, parks, and the public’s right to access public and private lands (as demonstrated by Dr. Weaver’s “Right to Roam” legislation he introduced in February, 2017) and I believe Fed members have reason to be optimistic about the future. We look forward to meeting representatives from all parties to discuss our issues in the upcoming months.