Wednesday, July 24, 2013

North Coast MLA Rice speaks on LNG in Legislature

The topic was one of high interest during the north coast election campaign, and NDP MLA Jennifer Rice brought some of her thoughts on the topic of LNG development to the Legislature on Monday.

In the morning session of the Legislature proceedings, Ms. Rice spoke in debate on the theme of resource development and reviewed for the Legislature many of the points she had made during the election campaign.

She called for "real leadership" in resource management, seeking to build sustainable and healthy communities. Suggesting that the government look beyond an immediate return and instead examine the long term impact of decisions that are made.

On the topic of LNG, she outlined her concerns over the pace and nature of development, by drawing a comparison to the process of development in a part of Australia. A process which she says has been proven inefficient, suggesting that it was a path that British Columbia was about to travel down.

"In Australia three LNG plants were constructed by three different companies right beside each other. This has proven inefficient. Here in B.C. it appears we, too, similarly are going down this path. If we truly believe in sustainable natural resource development, we need to examine cumulative impacts of multiple developments. Land and marine use planning is critical to managing the sustainability of resources. That also means considering ecosystem and social values and not just gross domestic product values." -- MLA Jennifer Rice, speaking on LNG development in the Legislature on Monday

Going back to her theme on sustainable development, she offered up her belief that the province needs to examine the cumulative impacts of multiple developments, calling into question what she said was a process that fast tracks the projects as soon as possible, calling it a boom and bust approach that is devastating for rural and remote communities.

Her review of more sustainable development for the Legislature also introduced the approach and treatment by Government to First Nations and their territories, as well as the impact that development has on them.

Governments have apologized for the ways in which they have treated aboriginal peoples over times past, yet we continuously invite First Nations to participate in the very system we apologized for, one that stole their land and removed their rights. For surrendering forests for pipelines, lakes for tailing ponds and sacred headwaters for gas exploration, we offer in exchange a few dollars and what those in the developed world yield as a given right, such as quality education, good health care and decent housing. While we apologize for a system that has stripped First Nations of their natural resources and culture, we continuously invite them back into the same system.-- MLA Jennifer Rice, speaking Monday at the Legislature, on the impact of resource development and relations with First Nations

MLA Rice also outlined how, in her opinion, adopting more sustainable practices would help in building communities, planning for future growth in British Columbia and fight climate change.

The BCNDP  caucus posted her speech to their YouTube portal this week, you can review it below.
Her wide ranging overview of the topics can be found from the Legislature record, it is also archived on the Video Record (select House Video from the July 22nd morning session)  Ms. Rice's contribution runs from 11:20 to 11:25 AM on the house archive.

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