2006 September 8
ST. ANDREWS A resolution calling on the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) to join municipalities in Charlotte County in requesting action from the federal government to ban liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers from Head Harbour Passage will be placed on the agendafor its annual meeting later this month.
The resolution, which was approved at last month’s town council meeting, notes that Head Harbour Passage is deemed sovereign waters of Canada and travel through here is considered a most dangerous route because of the frequent adverse weather conditions and tidal action.
It also notes that Passamaquoddy Bay is an ecologically sensitive body of water which would suffer irreversible damage through industrialization brought on by LNG development.
The resolution goes on to state that the economy of southern New Brunswick is heavily based on tourism so the transportation and storage of LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay would place this vibrant and sustainable industry in jeopardy.
It points out that since Passamaquoddy Bay has a strong commercial fishery the security requirements necessitated by the passage of LNG tankers and their additional support vessels would impede the free movement of Canadian fishing vessels as well as all other boat traffic.
Finally, the resolution notes that the cost of the infrastructure to support the development of LNG would be an insurmountable burden on the rural communities of southern New Brunswick.
Councillor Mary Myers together with town manager Tim Henderson attended the UMNB zone 4 meeting last month and presented the resolution to the membership when it was agreed to place it on the agenda for the annual meeting. The zone further requested that it be placed on the agenda for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Later in the meeting during councillors’ concerns, Councillor Mike Craig referred to last week’s meeting in the town on LNG and said it pointed out the fact that until the head is whacked off that dragon none of them have done enough.
“We certainly have a long way to go and I think we’ve got to start by really putting pressure on the federal government .... Until they pass legislation they haven’t done enough. None of us have.We’re all in the same boat.”
Councillor David Welch said the one scary factor in that whole meeting was the fact that FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) has never turned down an application that has been made to them and, using that track record, it means that the two applications they currently have will be approved. He said they have to make sure both the provincial and federal governments are aware of that.
Councillor Mary Myers said it is provincial election time and the provincial government has not really committed itself to be participants in the FERC process which they must do.
“They must participate in all levels of this application. They can’t wait until it’s finished with FERC and expect to appeal it in the courts because it will not be heard so when your candidate comes around calling, ask him what his position is on LNG and tell them that you’re very interested in them committing themselves.”
Councillor Welch said the Liberal party has committed in writing that if they were elected they would act as
interveners in the process and Councillor John Castell said he has been told by both Premier Bernard Lord and PC candidate and incumbent MLA Tony Huntjens that the provincial government has applied for intervener status to FERC.
Deputy Mayor Edie Bishop said that during last week’s meeting people were encouraged to write personal hand written letters to those responsible in Ottawa including the prime minister and the town would be glad to provide a list of addresses. Councillor Craig said they should be making it as easy as possible for people to do that and they should take the lead in this, doing whatever it takes even if it just means addressing envelopes or providing addresses.
Councillor Welch added that it doesn’t cost anything to mail a letter to the
prime minister or your MP.
Councillor Myers thanked those who put on last week’s meeting which, she said, went very well with an excellent speaker. She also thanked those who turned out for the meeting.
© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB