Letter to the Editor: We must save Lelu Island

The proposed Pacific NorthWest / Petronas LNG project would deal a death blow to Skeena salmon and other wildlife if it were to proceed.

Editor:

The proposed Pacific NorthWest / Petronas LNG project would deal a death blow to Skeena salmon and other wildlife if it were to proceed.

Flora Bank, located adjacent to Lelu Island, is a fragile and critical habitat for approximately 279 million juvenile salmon (Dr. Barb Faggetter, Phd Oceanography, R.P. Bio). Eelgrass beds located on Flora Bank provide essential food and shelter for the young salmon as they transition from fresh to salt water, and for many other species, including herring, shellfish and waterfowl. If damaged, eelgrass habitats are extremely difficult to mitigate and restore. Flora Bank has 40 to 60 per cent of the eelgrass in the Skeena estuary.

Although Petronas has modified its plans to dredge Flora Bank, they plan to build a suspension bridge that will shade the light-sensitive eelgrass beds. Their proposed marine facility adjacent to Flora Bank, which would provide a berth for the 220 gigantic LNG carriers that would traverse the estuary waters per year, would require hundreds of pilings along Flora Bank, on shouldering Agnew Bank, that would also seriously risk fish habitat by changing erosion and deposition patterns. SO2 and NOx emissions from the LNG plant would cause acidification of vegetation, fish and wildlife.

Petronas plans to clear cut the island, the home of over 400 culturally modified trees, despite the fact that these trees are protected in B.C. by the Heritage Conservation Act. They play a significant role in the archaeological and historical record of Indigenous peoples.

Petronas claims that they are not doing any work on Flora Bank. However, the occupiers — the hereditary Lax Kw’alaams First Nation owners and their supporters — have witnessed drilling taking place directly on Flora Bank, and on Oct. 28, a crew dropped cement anchors on Flora Bank. The occupiers are not protesting; rather they are practicing their Aboriginal rights and title by asking trespassers to leave.

Besides being environmentally reckless, the Petronas LNG deal with the B.C. government is fiscally irresponsible. It exempts the corporation from taxes until their capital investment costs are recovered, at a cut tax-rate that provides an extremely low revenue benefit for B.C. taxpayers.

According to an International Energy Agency report, the Asian demand for LNG has dropped and so have LNG prices, reducing the viability of LNG projects. The industry also faces intense competition on the global market from the U.S. and Australia. If Petronas packs up and leaves, they will have left behind a mess, with impunity, and for nothing.

We need to put a stop to foreign corporations that rape the land, reap the profits and provide relatively few jobs in the bigger economic picture. For Lelu Isand, there is no time to waste. Thousands of people rely on the Skeena river and estuary for their livelihoods and cultural preservation. PNW LNG is a critical threat to Skeena fish and wildlife. We need to stop this project now, before irreparable damage is done.

Brenda Mark, Anne Hill

Northwest Watch

 

Just Posted

ELECTION DAY: Here’s where to vote

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Coast Guard works with First Nations in oil response exercise

Approximately 80 people involved in mock oil response in the Prince Rupert harbour

Judd Repole honoured with jersey retirement

Repole played for five years with the Osoyoos Coyotes in the KIJHL

Part 2: Online shopping, taxes and labour pressure on Rupert’s retail

Part Two of a series investigating the shrinking retail sector on the North Coast of B.C.

This Week Pocast – Episode 107

Rainbow Nation’s host Russel Adams joins the show to talk about elections, cannabis and Halloween

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read