Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jennifer Rice to take First Nation engagement and environmental concerns into Legislature discussion on LNG

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice's
community update was delivered this week
North Coast Residents have seen the first glimpse of the approach that MLA Jennifer Rice will bring to LNG discussions in the Legislature later this month, with Ms. Rice's potential talking points delivered through the MLA's community report which arrived in mailboxes on Wednesday as part of the weekly newspaper delivery.

Ms. Rice's Community update provides a bit of background on her work over the last session of the Legislature in Victoria, but it's her short notes on the work ahead this month, that should catch the attention of many in the region.

Particularly those interested in where she is positioned when it comes to LNG development on the North Coast and what she will be focused on as the discussion moves forward.

In the update, the MLA briefly touches on the planned Legislative session scheduled to start on July 13th, when MLA's will receive more background on the agreement reached between the British Columbia Government and Petronas/Pacific NorthWest LNG. 

Passage of the agreement by the Legislature is one of two conditions that Petronas/Pacific NorthWest LNG still has when it comes to moving forward with it's investment plans for the Lelu Island Terminal project.

The other issue still to be resolved, is a positive outcome from the ongoing Environmental Assessment process for the Lelu Island proposal.

As for the rare summer session and her participation in it, Ms. Rice outlined some of her thoughts on the theme of LNG development as part of her community update:

"The Spring sitting of the house is over now but MLAs have been called back to Victoria for a rare summer session of the BC Legislature. During this time we will be debating legislation in relation to Pacific Northwest's proposal to build an LNG terminal on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. My position on LNG remains.  The project must have local First Nations as true partners in development. British Columbians must prosper from LNG, not just through revenue, but also through jobs in construction and in operations. Our land, air and water must be protected indefinitely"

Ms. Rice will have an opportunity to expand on the conversation when the Legislature reviews the agreement starting on the 13th, whether the terms of the agreement between Pacific NorthWest LNG and the provincial government will be enough to satisfy her concerns remains to be seen.

Though it should be noted, that with a Liberal majority in the Legislature, the passage of the agreement will very likely be put in place before the MLA's return to their summer vacation plans.

The vote however that will come following the discussion, will provide the North Coast with a firm indication as to where their MLA is when it comes to the Lelu Island proposal and will also provide a glimpse into how the NDP Opposition will approach the project and others in the region.

More background on the upcoming discussions can be found as part of our Pacific NorthWest LNG archives, for more information related to Ms. Rice's work at the Legislature see our archive page here.

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