Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has many concerns on EA Process related to Lelu Island project

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
takes the Federal Government to task
over Lelu Island in an article
posted on the party website
The recent decision by the Federal Liberal Government to approve the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, even with 190 conditions is not resting well with Green Party Leader Elizabeth Maywith the Member of Parliament delivering a scathing indictment of the Government's moves in an article posted to the Green Party website yesterday.

The Party leader and MP for Saanich and the Islands outlined a number of concerns when it comes to the recent Environmental process related to the Lelu Island site and offered a warning for British Columbians on how it may be used as the blue print for other projects.

In the lengthy article which was composed with the assistance of Vancouver Island scientist Dr. Patrick McLaren, May asks the question of "How corrupt is the environmental review process?" and wonders aloud how it is that DFO, CEAA and Natural Resources Canada came to their decision that the terminal project proposed by Petronas was not a threat to the Skeena Salmon? 

Noting that as she sees things, the Cabinet Ministers who made the decision were not provided with the full review of scientific facts.

"I do not use the word ‘corrupt’ lightly. If not for a fairly random connection, I would merely be heart-broken at the environmental and climate atrocity wrapped up in the approval of Pacific NorthWest LNG. Instead, I am angry and deeply concerned that the Cabinet ministers who made the decision were denied key scientific evidence by the very civil servants who are mandated to provide them with the facts."

The impact of the proposed development on Salmon is one of her main currents in the review, key among the questions as to whether the project at Lelu Island will endanger the second largest salmon run in British Columbia.

But that theme is not where she provides her most damning commentary.

Throughout the article, Ms. May provides a review of some of the science that she says was not considered by the Federal cabinet. Delivering a particular focus on the nature of sediment structure of the Flora Bank, something which Dr. McLaren who studied the region for the Lax Kw'alaams Band has described as ancient, relic sand dating back 8,000 years.

"So the question for science is not ‘will building a giant terminal, pounding 500 pilings, more than a metre each in diameter, into the sand banks hurt the eel grass?’ The question is ‘what is keeping this unique geological feature in place?’ And that raises other troubling questions. If the waves and currents hold the sands in place, what impact will the pilings and huge LNG tankers parked along more than a quarter of Flora Bank’s perimeter have on the ancient formation? 

Dr McLaren predicts that they will reduce the energy of the processes impinging the bank enabling the sand to ‘escape’ to the surrounding deep water. The eel grass and its fish habitat will be removed with the sand, effectively destroying Flora Bank."

The Green Party leader blasts the Federal review process for dismissing the work of Dr. McLaren  and urging him to "move on" when he raised issues she suggests made the panel uncomfortable.

She ends her presentation by renewing her concerns over the federal approvals process and a call to action when it comes to future environmental reviews.

"Collusion. Fraudulent, Corrupt. These are not words I associate with the federal approvals process. We need to be raising hell before similar ‘science’ is used to approve Kinder Morgan."

You can review the full item from the Green Party website here.

More items related to the proposed LNG terminal at Lelu Island can be found on our archive page.

While further items related to items of note from the House of Commons can be found here.

Update: On Wednesday, the Green Party Leader noted through her twitter feed, that she would be raising her concerns related to the Lelu Island decision during the course of the day's proceedings in Ottawa.

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