Friday, November 28, 2014

MLA Rice wraps up busy week, by presenting Dodge Cove petition against LNG terminal proposal to the Legislature

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has had a fairly active final week of the Fall session, tackling a number of items as the Legislature prepares to take its Christmas/New Year and beyond break.

As we outlined earlier today, Ms. Rice's efforts in the Legislature regarding what was a unfair charge from BC Ferries for those who require wheel chairs found a successful conclusion. As Transportation Minister Todd Stone confirmed for the MLA  on Thursday, that the practice of charging 30 dollars extra will be stopped.

Tuesday, the North Coast MLA rose in the Legislature to herald the renewal of the peace treaty between the Haida and Heiltsuk First Nations, providing a short history lesson for the Legislature about past events and the ongoing significance of it's renewal.

As part of her statement on the treaty Ms. Rice reviewed her participation this September, as a witness to the renewal of the treaty.

This September I was privileged to bear witness to a modern-day renewal of this peace treaty. I travelled on B.C. Ferries from Prince Rupert to Skidegate with 75 Heiltsuk who had just made the long journey north from Bella Bella. The ferry was filled with Heiltsuk of all ages, from babies to elders. Kids were out of school for this monumental event — although a few teens did tell me that they had to write papers about their experience to get out of class. The boat hummed of drumming and powerful voices. A sea of red regalia filled the passageways of the ship. 
Heiltsuk Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt invited me to walk off the ferry with the Heiltsuk when we landed in Haida Gwaii. We were greeted by singing and drumming and welcoming Haida on the shores of Skidegate. It was a sight to be seen. The B.C. Ferries crew commented that they'd never participated in anything like this before. An exchange of singing and drumming echoed across the waters as we exited the ramp off the ferry and walked onto Haida territory.

You can review her full commentary from Hansard of Wednesday afternoon, with her comments arriving at just before the 10:25 mark

The Legislature Video Archive hosts her presentation to the Legislature as well, it can be found at the 10:25 mark from the Tuesday Chamber video option

Yesterday, Ms. Rice presented a petition to the Legislature which outlined the opposition of residents of Digby Island regarding any proposed development of an LNG Terminal on the southern tip of the Island.

Shortly after 11:15 in the morning session of yesterday's proceedings, the MLA outlined the objections of those living in the Dodge Cove area.

I rise to table a petition from every member of the community of Dodge Cove living on Digby Island. The people of Dodge Cove feel that the Aurora-Nexen LNG project, which is proposed to be situated half a kilometre from their homes, will alter their lives and community irreparably.

The notice of the petition can be found in the Thursday morning Hansard review.

You can review her delivery of the petition to the Legislature from the Thursday Morning Chamber Video, it starts at the 11:16 mark

As we reviewed earlier this week, it was announced that the Aurora Project would focus on development plans for Digby Island, with the Chinese energy company CNOOC and it's Canadian subsidiary Nexen  selecting the Digby Island option for further site evaluation, choosing that location over its previous development option of Grassy Point.

You can review more details on the Digby Island proposal here.

The delivery of the petition will mark the last bit of business for the North Coast MLA in the Legislative Chamber for the foreseeable future. With the end of the Legislature sitting shortly after the noon hour on Thursday, the province's MLA's adjourned for the Christmas Holidays and perhaps much further into 2015.

No indication was given by Government House Leader Mike de Jong as to when the Legislature may sit next, with the timetable to be determined upon advice of the Government.

For more items related to developments at the Legislature see our archive page here.

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