LETTER: Boycott the Environmental Assessment process

Dear Editor,

We had already submitted our letter for this issue of the Undercurrent. But that was then, and this is now.  

In previous letters to this paper we have expressed our concerns with the Environmental review process. The Trudeau Government said the process was broken. We reasoned, if that’s the case, anything coming out of such a process must be broken too. The approval of the Woodfibre LNG project was an obvious example of a project slipping through when it shouldn’t. It was also offensive that we were simply to accept such a dubious outcome and all of its consequences for recovering Atl’Kitsem / Howe Sound and ourselves.

So while writing another letter to ask you to again write and submit your comments, this time for the cooling system changes of the proposed LNG project, we wondered: why should we?

In 2015, more than 90% of the public comments were against the project, yet these voices were ignored. We tried again in 2016, and again we were ignored. We were willing to try again, and we were well on our way, but then this past week happened.  

Revelations about political donations have been widely reported, and this weekend, a story appeared in the Globe & Mail about donations made by private persons for which they were reimbursed by a company or corporation. This one of the very few things you cannot do in BC when it comes to political donations. People were named in this scandal, including two Woodfibre LNG employees, Vice President Byng Giraud and Communications Manager Marian Ngo. Both have made significant donations to the BC Liberal party and are now under investigation by Elections BC.

Of course Woodfibre LNG should be under investigation too. After all, the company’s owner decided to reimburse Mr. Giraud and Ms. Ngo. Their reimbursed donations are not the only donations Woodfibre LNG has made to the BC Liberal Party. Throughout the environmental review of its LNG project in Howe Sound, Woodfibre LNG has donated well over $136,000 to the BC Liberals. It was even allowed to 'buy a table' at fundraiser for local MLA Jordan Sturdy. Cynically, the most recent donation by Woodfibre LNG was made on February 8 2017, one day before the current public comment period for its project was about to start.

With all this (foreign) money flowing to the BC Liberal party, the party in power in BC, how can we trust environmental reviews and approvals not to be biased towards the donors. You right, we can’t.

So instead of asking you to submit your comments, we are asking you join us in a boycott of the comment period and sign a letter to the Environmental Assessment Office for which you will find a link here.

On behalf of Concerned Citizens Bowen,

Anton van Walraven

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