British Columbia's political leaders made Earth Day the backdrop to their campaigning Monday, using environmentally-themed events that said as much about their approaches as the substance of their announcements.
NDP Leader Adrian Dix was in Environment Minister Terry Lake's Kamloops riding to broadly imply a government led by him would likely put a stop to the proposed twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Burnaby, to the Burrard Inlet off Vancouver.
Dix said he would await the results of the necessary reviews held into the project that would triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline, but he added: "We do not expect Vancouver to become a major oil export port as appears to be suggested in what Kinder Morgan is proposing."
In the past, Dix has taken a similar stance on the development of the Northern Gateway pipeline, saying an NDP government would opt out of a joint federal review already underway for more than a year and conduct its own environmental probe. Dix has also said in the past he is opposed to the project.
Liberal Leader Christy Clark took her campaign to two Vancouver-based environmental tech companies to talk about jobs the green economy can provide.
Solegear Bioplastics makes plastics from plants instead of oil. The company says in its promotional material that its products, which can be used in everything from packaging to office furniture and toys, are compostable and non-toxic.
The second company, Saltworks Technologies Inc., has developed desalination technologies that have been used by customers as diverse as NASA and the Alberta oil patch.
"Clean tech is creating the jobs of tomorrow," Clark said after touring Saltworks, which employs 40 people and last year, was named to the Global Cleantech 100, a list produced by a global research and advisory firm.
"The NDP would stifle this kind of innovation. We know they don't understand the economy, and we know that they would move backward on the environment, too. They have opposed policy after policy that we have brought in to protect BC's environment and spur innovation."
In a rare glimmer of agreement, both leaders expressed doubts about the Pacific Carbon Trust, the agency that was created with the goal of turning BC into one of the world's leading carbon-neutral economies.