2006 June 20
The group's mandate is threefold: to ensure Canadians are well informed about proposals to establish LNG terminals in the Passamaquoddy Bay/St. Croix region; to provide a voice for Canadians who oppose such development; and to ensure this voice is properly represented to government (Canada and US) and the public.
Dr. Lesley Pinder, MD, and Janice Harvey, Fundy Baykeeper Program Director for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick are co-chairs of the group. Other Board members are: Jan Meiners (Campobello), Susan Lambert (DeerIsland), David Welch (municipal), Carl Sapers (FERC interventionchair), Margot Sackett and Mary Kane (fundraising co-chairs), Gerald McEachern (communications chair), Larry Lack and Lee Ann Ward (mobilization co-chairs), Hugh Akagi (science chair and Passamaquoddy First Nations liaison), and Maria Recchia (fisheries chair).
Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada Inc's immediate priority is to ensure the Canadian government regulates quickly to prohibit LNG tankers from transiting Head Harbour Passage, as Prime Minister Harper has promised.
The group retained the SierraClub of Canada to work on their behalf in Ottawa. Simultaneously, SPB Canada is preparing to intervene in the US decision-making process under the auspices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
"Should the FERC review of the two proposals at Split Rock (Quoddy Bay LLC) and Robbinston (Downeast LNG) begin before Canada passes the necessary regulations to prohibit tanker passage through Canadian waters, we will need to be formal intervenors in that US process," explained Harvey.
"We are urging Canada to move quickly through the regulatory process, which may pre-empt the FERC review. However, we must also be prepared, as a citizen's group opposing the US projects, to be active intervenors in the US process in case federal action in Canada is delayed. "
SPB Canada is working closely with their US and Passamaquoddy counterparts to coordinate their FERC intervention. Harvey stressed the need for the Canadian group to intervene separately from their partners in Save Passamaquoddy Bay: A Three Nation Alliance.
"Canada sits in a very unique position in this issue. While many of the issues are the same on both sides of the border, the remedies and recourses are very different. Thus it is important that our group be prepared to participate independently in the U.S. process. A priority for us now must be to raise the funds needed to support that intervention. "
While a precise timetable for the FERC review of the formal applications is not known, Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada is preparing for a fall deadline.
"We will work very hard over the summer to get ready for this review process. We cannot assume the projects will disappear anytime soon. Being fully prepared for whatever comes at us is our group's priority now," said Harvey.
© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB