The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2006 September 5

Liberals attack LNG


ST. ANDREWS/DEER ISLAND — Liberal leader Shawn Graham says if his party is elected, they will promptly take steps to intervene in the application process to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay.

The party's position was conveyed in a statement read simultaneously by Charlotte-Campobello Liberal candidate Robert Tinker at the Niger Reef Teahouse, in St. Andrews, and Charlotte-The Isles Liberal candidate Rick Doucet, in Fairhaven, Deer Island, Monday night.

Graham said he shared his colleagues' concerns about the proposed LNG terminal at Pleasant Point — he didn't mention the other two LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay — and that the safety and environmental concerns surrounding the project are top priorities for his party.

"I want to personally assure you that, if we are elected, we will promptly take steps to engage competent counsel to represent the province in these proceedings for the proposed construction at Passamaquoddy Bay.

"We recognize that only through timely intervention can the province's opposition to LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay be effectively heard and that only such timely intervention will qualify the province to appeal to the United States courts to reverse any licence that FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) may grant."

Allen Phillips, president of the Charlotte-Campobello Liberal Riding Association, who introduced Tinker, referred to a newspaper clipping from Feb 13, 1982 headlined "No To Head Harbour."

"Pittson Oil was going to build an oil refinery on the American side. Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the province of New Brunswick said no and the Liberals stood good to their word. They stopped it then. We can stop it now."

Tinker told the crowd of about 30 people that he was completely committed to opposing LNG. A native of Campobello, he said Head Harbour Passage, which the LNG tankers would have to traverse, is a very treacherous area with a lot of shearing activity and a lot of outcrops as well as being a local fishing area.

"The people on Campobello Island are very concerned. The people here are very concerned. I think coastal communities throughout Charlotte County and Washington County should be concerned about LNG and what that can bring.

"If we open that door and allow large scale industrial development into the bay we're not going to get this door closed so I think we all have to rally together to work to make sure this does not happen."

At last week's public meeting in St. Andrews on LNG, Tinker said he was asked if Graham became the premier would he formally intervene in the application process and he was pleased to report that the Liberal leader has said he would do so.

"We were asked if we would approach the leader to get this commitment and you have my assurance here this evening that if there is anything along the way that I can do to assist in ensuring LNG does not enter our bay I will do so."

Doucet said both St. Andrews and Deer Island would be severely impacted by the proposed LNG facilities just across the bay so they felt it was important to stress the broad scope of the impact with these two widely separated announcements.

"We believe it is important to protect our way of life, to protect the important tourism industry, our aquaculture and our diverse traditional fisheries.

"Passamaquoddy Bay is not a suitable place for LNG and we will fight it. The people all over Charlotte County have spoken loud and clear. They do not want LNG in the Passamaquoddy Bay."

Doucet said the present Conservative government has paid lip service to this issue but has done nothing to oppose LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay while Graham would commit New Brunswick to intervene against any approvals.

"Bernard Lord's inaction has set us back in our fight against LNG in Quoddy but a Liberal government will take immediate steps to attempt to make up for the time wasted in Conservative inaction....

"I commit that I will also work tirelessly to oppose LNG in Passamaquoddy. We cannot afford continued inaction. We need Shawn Graham as premier to make New Brunswick's voice heard in the fight against LNG in Passamaquoddy."

Once the LNG developers file their applications with FERC, opponents have 30 days to file an intervention.


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

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB