March 11, 2016
Dear Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and Honourable Minister McKenna,
We are deeply concerned that Canada’s opportunity to create responsible prosperity through Liquefied Natural Gas is hanging in the balance.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made clear that in today’s world, the economy and the environment are intertwined. As he has said:
“Since the beginning of the 21st century, we have become increasingly aware that we can no longer claim to keep the economy and environment separate. We understand that the two go together and should be considered as a single element to create prosperity for our country, our citizens and our communities.”
In the spirit of the Trudeau government, we ask that the Petronas proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal be approved. We know that Canadian Federal Scientists, unmuzzled by your government, have weighed the pros and cons of this proposal and come down on the side of allowing the facility to be built. On 13 of 15 issues they examined, their findings say that with competent management, success will be ours. On two issues, they have challenged us to be resourceful and find solutions.
This, indeed, is the challenge of our times.
Thanks to your concerns for the protection of the fragile ecosystem that supports Canada’s second largest salmon run, British Columbians and Canadians can know that the Justin Trudeau vision for balance can surely be realized.
Your scientists have examined all of the issues in play. We have seen local concerns about two important ones in particular: salmon and preservation of Aboriginal ways. Here is what the federal scientists are advising:
"The Agency concludes that the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on marine fish and fish habitat, including marine plants, taking into account the implementation of mitigation measures."
"The Agency concludes that the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes taking into account the implementation of the above mentioned mitigation measures."
"The Agency concludes that the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on physical and cultural heritage and sites or structures of historical and archeological importance taking into account the implementation of the above mentioned mitigation measures."
Workers like Brianne Zwambag of Fort St. John have told us that they value both their jobs and the environment.
"Times are tough, and the future is uncertain at the moment,” says Brianne.
Brianne’s words are heartfelt, and is hard to believe that a truly caring government could turn its back on her, and tens of thousands like her, at a moment like this.
We do not have the infinite ability to say no to projects that will sustain smart prosperity for generations to come. Greenpeace reports that China is permitting new coal plants at the rate of 4 per week. Being Canadian means sharing our natural gas with them to help their green transition.
Let's do our part to slow down China's coal expansion!
The authoritative Federal Scientific Report shows that the unique eelgrass bed at the estuary of the Skeena River is not at risk from the Petronas Pacific NorthWest LNG project.
For the First Nations who have repeatedly endorsed this project, it is time for your to government step up and be true to the words of Prime Minister Trudeau:
"We need to become a country that has the courage to own up to its mistakes and fix them together, people to people.”
Moving forward means empowering the Aboriginal people, not consigning them to poverty when daily we hear their leaders insist they want to pursue options in green resource development.
Aboriginal groups have identified concerns related to project effects on change in regional labour supply and demand, cost of living and economic activity, traffic and pressure on transportation infrastructure, housing availability and affordability, and infrastructure and community services.
It's time to overcome the mistakes of the past and fix them together with a sustainable approach to prosperity.
We are calling on you to demonstrate the leadership outlined in the government’s mandate to act with necessary urgency on climate change mitigation by developing natural gas exports for the world.
With millions of people in the developing world dying because of pollution from dirty fuels, your compassionate leadership will only have true meaning when you weigh the human benefits and environmental protections.
As a resourceful resource nation, we must continue to invest in clean and green energy technology, and share our abundant cleaner energy sources with those who badly need them.
This the only morally acceptable action available to us as Canadians. Poverty knows no borders, but prosperity does not either.
We appeal to your government to respect the expression of strong First Nations and Métis decision-making demonstrating what real reconciliation and understanding of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples looks like.
By taking a balanced approach you will be able to serve the environment, the climate, and Canadian people. Please show you understand the seriousness of our support by approving this beneficial project. Working people need these jobs.
Thank you for your consideration.
We, the undersigned.
[YOUR NAME HERE ALONG WITH THE HUNDREDS OF OTHERS WHO HAVE SIGNED THIS PETITION]