When Minister Heyman Met Dr. Weaver: How Environmental Leadership Changes the Conversation

There’s a strong strand of opinion in the wider environmental community that building a just, sustainable world is about more than the laws and decisions we make (though it’s certainly that, too). It’s also about how we listen and communicate, and how we treat each other, especially when we disagree.

It’s a great viewpoint. And it’s a far cry from the bombastic, misleading rhetoric that too often passes for policy debate in much of North America.

But in British Columbia late last month, we saw an interesting and important development: two GreenPAC endorsees, each holding a senior position in the same provincial government, talking across party lines to try to resolve their differences on an issue of crucial importance to the province, the country, and the world.

They didn’t get it settled in one conversation. The discussion will continue. But the tone so far has been…refreshingly constructive.

LNG: Carbon Bomb or Economic Boom?

The January 24 discussion took place between NDP Environment Minister George Heyman (Vancouver-Fairview) and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver (Oak Bay-Gordon Head).

At issue was one of the most challenging issues the minority New Democratic government will face under its Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) with the three-member Green caucus—whether any new exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be reconciled with the government’s commitment to a 40% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030.