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The Conservatives, the conversation, and the question of energy development

Dear Editor, In response to Eoin Finn’s “Weston vs West Van Council”, published August 21st, I appreciate Mr.

Dear Editor,

In response to Eoin Finn’s “Weston vs West Van Council”, published August 21st, I appreciate Mr. Finn’s engagement; among other things, he took advantage of the opportunity I created for concerned citizens to meet with our Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and our Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Collin Carrie this month in our riding.  Among others who joined us, were hardworking West Vancouver Councillors and other local elected officials.  These meetings are examples of the work I do in “shrinking the distance” – getting Federal decision-makers to hear directly from the people of our riding.
We have underway in Canada an animated conversation about large-scale energy projects. Opinions have ranged from local impacts, in Squamish, Howe Sound, and throughout our riding; to provincial- and national-scale issues.  Among the most engaged people in the country are people in our riding – fellow MP’s and Ministers have grown to expect articulate, well considered opinions from this beautiful riding.
The decisions we make now will shape Canada for generations. Thus, when we make large-scale decisions that affect the environment and the economy of British Columbia, everyone’s point of view is to be considered while applicants undergo the rigorous review process. Project proponents can expect to respond to exacting questions from the perspective of industry, government, science, and others. No project will be approved unless it falls within acceptable standards of safety,  for people and the environment.   Even if a project receives approval, you can bet that conditions may apply, which may be difficult or impossible for the proponent to meet.
The Conservative Government has thus rejected large-scale projects in recent memory, either because the project did not meet the rigorous environmental standards or other aspects of national interest.  
Depending on objective, science-based processes designed to protect people and the environment, most Canadians would support an energy project that delivers jobs and opens markets for Canadian exports and adheres to stringent conditions that will ensure our environment is safe.
I was a British Columbian before being an M.P. and will be long afterwards.  It should therefore not surprise you that I stand for a strong BC and a strong Canada, with a beautiful and protected environment and a vibrant economy.
 John Weston, MP, West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country