BC NDP urge federal body to withhold LNG approval

Opposition says Pacific NorthWest project doesn't meet First Nations, environmental approval conditions.

April 5, 2016   by The Canadian Press

VICTORIA — BC’s Opposition New Democrats are urging a federal environmental agency to withhold approval of the proposed the $36-billion liquefied natural gas project near Prince Rupert.

NDP Leader John Horgan says in a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project does not meet First Nations and environmental approval conditions.

The letter highlights First Nations concerns about risks to salmon in the Skeena River ecosystem and climate threats to marine habitat, species and high and inadequately regulated greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced last month that the federal cabinet will be ready to make a decision on the project within 90 days.

The environmental assessment agency issued a draft report last February that concluded the LNG plant could be built without major environmental impacts, but it now is reviewing 34,000 public comments and new information about greenhouse gas emissions provided by Pacific NorthWest LNG.

The NDP’s letter says LNG projects must meet four conditions surrounding jobs and training for British Columbians.

“Until and unless these deficiencies are addressed, we urge you to withhold final recommendation for approval,” says the two-page letter signed by Horgan and environment critic George Heyman.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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