Monday, April 18, 2016

Rice channels Horgan and Cullen in recent newspaper interview

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice returned to the theme of LNG development at Lelu Island last week, providing comments to the Northern View on her view of the proposed LNG development on the North Coast.

During the course of her commentary, the MLA seemed to find much agreement with the path that both BC NDP leader John Horgan and MP Nathan Cullen have taken on the issue, echoing many of their public comments of recent months when it comes to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

In the page three article featuring the title of LNG is possible on the North Coast, Ms. Rice offered up a review of where the Lelu Island project has taken the community to this point, noting that the Petronas project offers many challenges.

Among her observations, the issue of Green House Gas output, impact on juvenile salmon and the lack of a comprehensive climate change plan by the Provincial government.

She also raises concerns over the amount of temporary foreign workers that may be required during the construction phase, calling on previous estimates of up to 70 percent. Though, to this point, no firm numbers have been delivered yet by Pacific NorthWest LNG when it comes to a proposed work force should the project be approved by the federal government.

Ms. Rice also notes that there is a need for resolution of the concerns of First Nations and to take action to protect air, land and water, as well as the salmon resource which many workers in the region depend on.

Mr. Horgan, recently spoke on behalf of the party as part of the CEAA process related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

The provincial NDP leader recently forwarded a letter to the CEAA, calling on the federal body to withhold final recommendation for approval of the project.

While her comments for the most part follow the provincial NDP line, it's worth noting that the NDP leader Mr. Horgan is feeling some pressure from unionized segments of NDP support for his recent commentary, particularly when it comes to the provincial NDP stance on resource and LNG development.

John Horgan says NDP could reverse stance on Pacific NorthWest
Steel workers shaprly criticize BC NDP
Union memo makes NDP a bit jumpy
B.C. needs credible economic and jobs plan, leaked memo says

Ms. Rice's comments for the weekly paper also appear to mirror much of what Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen has had to say on Lelu Island in recent months.

He was one of the first to suggest that a shift over to Ridley Island would be the best option for Petronas, though it should be noted that at this moment there is no actual location available there, with BG Gas still holding its position on Ridley.

One other possible impediment to that option would be the need for further environmental work should Petronas seek another location for their proposed development, an extended path that it would seem the Malaysian energy company isn't inclined to embark upon.

Cullen says Lelu Island too Great a risk for LNG project
Cullen still concerned with Pacific NorthWest location
Northern MPs dispute impact of Pacific NorthWest LNG
Nathan Cullen on Pacific Northwest LNG issues

Both Ms. Rice and Mr. Cullen were signatories to the Lelu Island Declaration, a document signed during January's Salmon Nation Summit.

There is no link to the article on the Northern View website, so if you have already recycled your print edition of the paper, you'll have to work your way through their e-edition process to catch up with the thoughts of the North Coast MLA.

Ms. Rice's overview of Lelu Island proposal can be found on page A3.

(Update: It appears that we have followers at the weekly paper, Ms. Rice's comments have now made their way to the main Northern View website see here)

For more items related to the developments out of Victoria see our Legislature archive here.

A comprehensive overview of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found on our archive page here.

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