Letter and response

A letter to Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and his response.

Editor

 

The Oct. 10 edition of the Caledonia Courier published a map produced by Enbridge Northern Gateway depicting a hypothetical spill into Pitka Creek, creating a large oil spill plume into Stuart Lake.

I find this possibility, no matter how remote, to be totally unacceptable.

I do not believe it’s the price of doing business, and I cannot believe it could ever be seen as a trade-off that is in the national interest.

I want to know Mr. Rustad, as our MLA, what steps have you taken to ensure that this can never happen?

 

Brenda Gouglas

Excerpt from a phone conversation in response to the letter:

Rustad said the conditions Premier Christy Clark laid out, and engagement with First Nations has to take place before he will support Northern Gateway being approved, but he also won’t reject it for strictly political reasons.

“That is the process that’s going through now, that’s the science that’s being done, those are the questions that are being asked, that’s what’s being presented next March at the environmental review,” he said.

“I’m not a scientist with regards to this and so you obviously have to rely on the professional information that’s brought in and we’ll see how that process goes.”

“I live in the area, I live on a lake. Now clearly I would not be interested in seeing any project go forward that is going to be a significant risk and that hasn’t taken every possible step to mitigate what that potential risk could be.”

“Having said that, there is no way any project, whether it is Mt. Milligan, whether it is  a highway project, whether it is a pipeline project, there is no way any project can give you a hundred percent guarantee that there is no risk. You can’t cross the road without there being risk. The question is, has the proposal that’s come forward done everything possible to give us the best possible standards and lead the highest level of environmental considerations, and that’s yet to be determined.”

“I believe that any project that comes forward … we have to have science-based information that’s provided to the governments of the day to make those decisions on. And if we decide that we don’t want to do that, that puts at risk all kinds of investments in the province of British Columbia. I’m not just talking about Northern Gateway, I’m talking about New Gold, just south of Vanderhoof. They just entered into an assessment process … in hopes of building a mine. If we suddenly say to that company and to any other company that we are going to make decisions based on political reactions as opposed to decisions based on the technology and the science that comes forward, that will have to be factored into whether investors want to do the exploration work in the province and whether they want to try to move projects forward, and that could seriously impact on the economy of northern British Columbia.”