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TERRACE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Mar 16, 2016) - Skeena Wild Conservation Trust had this to say in regard to the pro PNW LNG rally in Terrace Wednesday. Executive Director Greg Knox commented, " We share the concerns being expressed about the North's economy and have long recognized the need for an open and civil conversation in our communities about these issues".
SkeenaWild is in complete agreement with the federal government that the current major project review processes are broken. This only leads to what we see now - conflict and people feeling disempowered. "Petronas' LNG proposal is the poster child of how the development process is broken. The proponent was courted by an agency of the federal government, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, to place a massive industrial facility overtop of some of the most important and sensitive salmon habitat in Canada. This project was destined to fail right from the start."
The current process seldom leads to positive investment outcomes, or good projects that don't threaten salmon or the climate. "The science that is relied on to assess risks is paid for and controlled by industry, and trust that governments are protecting the publics interest instead of the interests of the oil and gas industry, is at an all time low" stated Knox. "We need to have positive and creative conversations about development, ones that don't pit community against community, or jobs against healthy salmon runs. Some up front planning and independent science would be a good start".
Gerald Amos, Skeena Wilds Community Liason, added, "The current federal government received a strong mandate to address climate change, fix the current environmental review processes and rebuild the relationship with First Nations. Every shred of evidence confirms current processes do not result in positive investment decisions, or social license. And usually end up in court". "While we couldn't agree more that economic opportunity is important, it bears pointing out that the one time a First Nation community, Lax Kw'alaams, was fully and openly consulted on the Petronas LNG project, and where the science from all perspectives was presented in an open forum, the community almost unanimously rejected the Lelu Island project, as well as 1.15 Billion dollars"
Knox concluded, " We are as tired of resource conflict as anyone. But we reject any characterization that protecting the interests of the public in abundant and diverse wild salmon is a negative thing. We believe with all our hearts that if communities take the lead in this conversation, and work together in fixing these broken processes, we can enjoy a healthy economy, and healthy salmon. Our families deserve both".
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