This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: B.C. government lets industry run wild
Can we safely balance industrial growth and air quality in northern B.C.?
When I saw the news release announcing the Kitimat Airshed Emissions Impact Assessment report was complete, I immediately wondered what information the report contained that wasn’t favourable.
It’s a time-honoured tradition for governments to release bad news on a Friday so it can fizzle out over the weekend, and good news on a Monday so they can optimize press exposure all week long. If the report had been completely favourable, the government would have waited until Monday to release it.
The government summary referred to in Brent’s column is carefully worded and doesn’t give the complete picture of what the report actually states. The report studied the impact of building not only four separate LNG plants in the Kitimat region, but also considered the impact of adding an oil refinery into the same area. Currently there have been two proposals for oil refineries brought forth for the north coast and Kitimat has been identified as a potential location for both.
The airshed report is highly technical, hundreds of pages long and likely to be not easily understood by the average person. However, section seven offers a summary of results that contains some critical points that must not be overlooked, nor glossed over for their importance.
In fact, so serious are some of the key findings that Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and deputy leader of the BC Green Party, publicly called out the government in a statement issued the same day as the report, stating: “This is a nail in the coffin for the Government’s lavish LNG dreams in Kitimat. It is a thorough and excellent study and it is clear in its conclusions; the government simply cannot spin its way out of this. If you build those four LNG plants, they will put the people of Kitimat, Terrace and many other communities in the area at a critical risk to their health.”
Read Brent Stafford’s column here.
READ the rest of this weeks, column, vote and comment at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/07/20/bc-government-lets-industry-run-wild