Sunday, September 07, 2008

BC NDP attacks Gordon Campbell over use of private jet to fly to Beijing Olympics

The following is a news release issued by the BC NDP regarding Premier Gordon Campbell's use of private jet to travel to the Beijing Olympics last month - a story I broke in 24 hours newspaper. The plane was rented by VANOC chair and developer Jack Poole.

My colleague Michael Smyth writes about this issue in today's Vancouver Province also.

"For Immediate Release Sept. 5, 2008

CAMPBELL MUST ACCOUNT IN LEGISLATURE FOR PRIVATE JET USE, SAYS NDP

VICTORIA – Gordon Campbell should stand up in the legislature this fall and explain why he flew to the Beijing Olympics on a private jet rather than taking a more environmentally-friendly commercial flight, New Democrat environment critic Shane Simpson said today.

“Gordon Campbell seems to be completely out of touch with his own policies. Private jets are notorious polluters. If he were serious about reducing carbon emissions, Gordon Campbell would encourage his corporate friends to fly on regular commercial airplanes rather than jetting around the world with them in a private plane,” said Simpson.

“British Columbians deserve to know why, when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Gordon Campbell thinks there is one standard for him and his friends, but another for the rest of us. This fall, the premier should come back to the House and explain why he’s not willing to walk the walk when it comes to climate change.”

Simpson noted that a seat on a commercial flight from Vancouver to Beijing generates an estimated 2.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide, whereas a private jet such as a Gulfstream GIII emits 59.7 tonnes for the same flight.

Although Campbell has refused to answer questions about who shared his private jet to Beijing, media reports indicate that the passenger list included the premier, his wife, VANOC Chair Jack Poole, and B.C. Liberal insider Peter Brown, which would mean an estimated 11.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide per passenger.

“Gordon Campbell’s carbon emissions from a return trip to Beijing on a private jet with three of his friends would be the same as driving a mid-size car for almost seven-and-a-half years,” said Simpson.

Simpson noted that although carbon offsets can be purchased for airline flights, the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to first cut back on energy use."

6 comments:

DPL said...

The short story is that King Gordo, in his mind can do what he wants, besides getting to ride in an executive jet makes him feel more important that anyone else who gets on a commecial flight. Pompous ass.

Gary E said...

The only problem with this demand to talk about this arrogance in the Legislature is that it's pretty much a forgone conclusion that Campbell won't call a Fall Session. That's how he handles things. Lets his lackys do the explaining or he just hides from the problem. Case in point, giving these raises a week before they are announced (on a Friday), leaving Hansen to explain them, then jetting off on a private jet to Beijing.

So the only way to try and get his attention is to contact him, either by phone, snail mail,or e-mail. Hammer him everyday until you get an answer. And if that doesn't get an answer hammer the mainstream media editors. Eventually someone will get the message. The message is to roll this insanity back and raise the minimum to $11. And that wouldn't even cover the cost of living for the las year.

Anonymous said...

Campbell has such a serious sense of entitlement, he doesn't even give these things a second thought. He has power, money and connections. He's on top, baby, and can step on whomever or whatever he wants.

Dawn Steele said...

To understand just how excessively un-Green and uncool this is, I just returned from the Air Care test on my 15-year old Mazda hatchback. Despite the fact that it's hardly the model of fuel efficiency these days, Air Care estimated (based on fuel efficiency, mileage and actual emissions) that our family car emitted a grand total of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 in THE PAST YEAR.

So that's our entire family and all our driving for a full year being equivalent to about 1/10 of what the Premier alone blew on a single trip.

If we put up with erratic overcrowded transit to do our part, surely he could manage the agony of stretching out with a cocktail in business class on a commercial jet!

Anonymous said...

So the people against the Carbon tax are now all of sudden concerned about emissions. And the people for the Carbon tax are spewing emissions like it's going out of style. The hypocrisy surrounding this issue, from across the political spectrum, is nauseating.

Anonymous said...

Anon, being against emissions without supporting BC's version of the carbon tax is no more hypocritical than objecting to the death sentence as an ineffective deterrent to crime.

Campbell's version of a carbon tax is one of many possible policy options for trying to encourage people to reduce their emissions, so arguing that there are better ways to achieve that policy goal is not hypocritical. On the other hand, choosing a carbon-guzzling jet when there are patently better options for travelling is another story altogether.