Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald

MLA Norm Macdonald shifted to energy & mines portfolio

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald given a role as critic for energy and mines in NDP shadow cabinet.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald was given a new role as critic for energy and mines in NDP leader John Horgan’s new shadow cabinet.

“I’d been doing forestry, which I very much enjoyed for five years, but I think it’s time now to learn other things,” said Macdonald in an interview with the Times Review.

Macdonald had been the critic for forests, lands and natural resource operations since 2009.

Horgan, who was acclaimed leader of the NDP in May, announced his shadow cabinet in a news release Wednesday morning. The shadow cabinet is divided into two sectors — one for the economy, and one for stronger communities. Macdonald is part of the economic sector team.

Macdonald’s main focus will be on mining policy. He said that like his work in forestry, he will be focused on holding the government to account on what is happening to the land base. He brought up the recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that granted the Tsilhquot’in First Nation title over its land.

“The Tsqilhquot’in ruling raises lots of questions that the government has to understand and deal intelligently with,” he said. “Our role as the opposition is to push the government to work hard on these issues and to do the work they need to do to solve problems for these people.

“There’s no doubt that anything on the land base requires a sophisticated approach from government and the people on the ground who will do the work.”

Macdonald will also be in charge of working on overall energy policy, said Horgan. He will be working with Adrian Dix, the critic for BC Hydro, Bruce Ralston, the critic for natural gas development, and George Heyman, the critic for green economy and technology.

“When I was sitting down to see how I would parse out the area that I just represented over seven or eight years, it struck me the best course of action based on my experience was to make sure we had people singularly focused on elements of energy policy so they could do a better job of dismantling the mess the Liberals have made of it,” said Horgan, who was the critic for energy & mines prior to becoming party leader.

Macdonald said both natural gas and BC Hydro policy fascinate him. “There’s so much there that has been said that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, but the premier seems to be getting away with it for the most part so far, so we’ll see if we can push her on that,” he said.

He said he’s looking forward to working with his colleagues on the portfolio and sharing his expertise with others. “If you’re working with somebody, you both share the excitement of something significant,” he said.

The shift will see Macdonald pitted against Bill Bennett, the MLA for East Kootenay and Minister of Energy & Mines, who he has sparred with many times in the legislature. Macdonald said he is looking forward to going up against his East Kootenay rival. “On one issue after another we’ve battled and I certainly am excited about the prospect to add to that,” he said.

The shadow cabinet will be meeting in Vancouver on Thursday and Friday.

 

Just Posted

Early morning fire destroys building on 14th Street S.

Firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze for more than six hours

Golden residents invited to discuss Green New Deal

Golden is just one of 150 towns that are hosting a Green… Continue reading

Town of Golden council and staff drafting short term rental bylaw

The Town of Golden has been working on framework to address the… Continue reading

Golden gets wagging and walking for dog guides

According to the Canadian Survey on Disability, 2017, one in five Canadians… Continue reading

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read