The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2006 February 28

Mayor gives PM ultimatum


ST. ANDREWS — With a new party in power and New Brunswick Southwest MP Greg Thompson now a member of Cabinet, Mayor John Craig said the town is giving Prime Minister Stephen Harper 60 days to act on the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects for Passamaquoddy Bay.

Both Thompson, who is now Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Harper have stated their opposition to the proposals and the passage of LNG tankers in Passamaquoddy Bay particularly through Head Harbour Passage. The town of St. Andrews is vehemently opposed to any LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay as are other communities in Charlotte County.

At a public presentation by one of the proponents, Downeast LNG, earlier this month Mayor Craig read a letter from Thompson, who was unable to be present, in which he stated, "I want to assure you that as the MP for New Brunswick Southwest and as a Minister of the Crown, my position on LNG tankers in Passamaquoddy Bay has not changed, nor has the position of Prime Minister Harper and the government of Canada.

"We have consistently stated from the outset that we are opposed to the transportation of LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage. During the election campaign the Prime Minister stated that we will use every diplomatic and legal means as a government to defend our position, our communities, our citizens, our environment and our economy. We are committed to this position."

Mayor Craig said Monday the new Conservative government has only just been sworn in so they are giving them 60 days to act on this. He said they are suggesting that people give Thompson a chance to get his feet under him in his new position right now then they can step up their campaign.

"After 60 days we can maybe do a letter-writing campaign or maybe go to Ottawa but we are leaving it alone for the next 60 days. We want to give Greg a chance to get everything in place so we are giving them 60 days to work on this.

"After that our group will get together and maybe call Greg and see what we can do to make this move forward. We are trying to work with Greg — not be adversarial. We will work with Greg to see how we can make this happen. I do want people to stay off his back for 60 days to let him get into his new job and this issue is certainly one of his top priorities."


© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB