Re: "Clark, Redford challenge stereotypes," Sept. 14.
The writer suggests our government's position on heavy-oil pipelines is only about financial benefits for B.C. That is only one-fifth of the picture.
Our government has set out not one, but five requirements that will have to be addressed before we would consider supporting any proposal for a heavy-oil pipeline. These include successful completion of the environmental-review process; world-leading marine and land oil-spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.'s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines; addressing legal requirements regarding aboriginal and treaty rights, and providing First Nations with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy oil project; and lastly, a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits, reflecting the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers.
Our five conditions represent an integrated and comprehensive position of our government. We are advancing this position as intervener at the joint review panel that is responsible for the environmental assessment of the Northern Gateway pipeline.
Premier Christy Clark has been adamant that if the environmental risk cannot be reduced to an acceptable level, no amount of compensation would be adequate. Based on recent surveys, many British Columbians appear to agree with this comprehensive approach which balances economic development and environmental and social sustainability.
B.C. Minister of Environment Victoria
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