STATEMENT: Malahat LNG being pushed by BC Liberals despite local opposition

MEDIA STATEMENT

Malahat LNG being pushed by BC Liberals despite local opposition

For immediate release
September 23, 2016

Brentwood Bay, BC - “The Malahat LNG project is not in the best interests of this community or the surrounding area despite what the BC Liberals might say,” says Adam Olsen, Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party and Candidate for Saanich North and the Islands.

Earlier this week Steelhead LNG, the project proponent, announced that Alberta natural gas supplier Seven Generations had purchased a significant minority stake in the company.

“This project is still alive and it continues to inch forward,” said Olsen. “With this latest announcement they have refined their rhetoric but continue to peddle the notion that LNG is better for the environment than coal and that they are successfully engaging First Nations around the Saanich Inlet. Nothing could be further from the truth. They have disregarded and undermined the four WSANEC First Nations at every opportunity. The four communities have significant Aboriginal and treaty rights in the Inlet and have all expressed their out-right opposition to the project.”

“In the last election the BC Liberals promised an LNG industry that would create 100,000 jobs, a trillion dollar hit to the GDP and a debt-free province. Over the past three years, they slashed industry taxes from the initial proposed rate at 7% to 3.5%, locked us into tax and regulatory agreements for decades, and, despite the evidence that the industry was in serious trouble, the BC Liberals have doubled and tripled down, committing a generational sell-out in the process.”  

“Steelhead makes it sound like a gas pipeline and liquefaction plant is good for the local environment and that LNG will help fight global climate change. That is simply not the case, there will be massive increases in air and marine pollution, disruption from LNG carriers and the constant fear of an accident. It is ludicrous to propose this project in such a densely populated and ecologically sensitive location.”

“There is a diversified economy that exists in the Saanich Inlet powered by tourism, recreation and real estate. None of these economic drivers are compatible with gas liquefaction. The BC Liberals appear content with trading hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs that already exist in the Inlet and surrounding areas for a few dozen LNG jobs. It is astounding that they are prepared to sacrifice our local economy for their own political gain and the interests of their industry buddies.”

“Saanich North & the Islands is uniquely positioned to take advantage of compatible economic development that does not damage our pristine environment and decrease our quality of life. Instead of doubling down on 20th century industries we should be embracing innovation in our high-tech, light-manufacturing, and tourism sectors and nurturing thousands of entry, mid and high level jobs that come with these industries. We should be preserving the commons, selling experiences and a high quality of life, not racing to the bottom.”

“The BC Liberals are totally invested in the success of the nascent LNG industry. They are desperate to have success in the centrepiece of their 2013 election and as a result the environmental assessment process is designed to “get to yes” at all costs. That hardly engenders confidence. Steelhead LNG does not have social license to proceed. Clearly, it is time to move on from this ridiculous proposal and invest in our future, enhancing our environment and economy rather than dragging it 100 years backward.”

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Adam Olsen

Stellys Cross Road, Brentwood Bay, BC, V8M 1J7