LNG export projects are being moved forward without adequate consultation, according to the Gitga’at Nation of Hartley Bay.
“For us to make an informed decision, we feel we need to have all of the information in front of us. Right now they are trying to rush the permits without important information like greenhouse gas emissions and emergency response… When we started to work on the first permit, another one popped up and then another. Then while we were working on those three in Kitimat, we got two more for projects in Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert is 85 kilometres away, but any tankers transiting the coast will pass through our territory,” said councillor Marvin Robinson.
“We’re not going to rush a decision because all of this poses risks to our territory. We have to think about what those risks are and the impact they would have.”
While much of the focus has been on Kitimat and Prince Rupert, little attention has been paid to the Gitga’at even though Robinson said they are more at risk.
“Our Chief attended the LNG conference and was hurt when they said Kitimat takes on all the risk. Kitimat is an industrial town – we bear all the risk here. We depend on the ocean, and they can show how a land-based spill would be dealt with but have yet to show how a water-based spill would be cleaned up,” he said.
“If there are 300 boats per year going to Kitimat, we multiply that by two because every ship going to Kitimat has to go past our village twice… Any tanker going to Kitimat will pass within a mile of our village.”