VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green party, expressed profound disappointment at the National Energy Board’s report released today, which recommended the Federal Government approve the Transmountain Expansion Project.
“This process was about ‘getting to yes’ from the very beginning - it was set up to fail to protect the public interest. The federal approval of this project was always political. The BC Green caucus has been clear that this project is not in the interests of British Columbians.
“B.C. needs to be in control of our own environmental review process, to make sure it is objective and evidence-based. We cannot rely on the Federal government. The province should terminate the equivalency agreement with the Federal government, and conduct our own environmental assessment for this project. We must do all we can to ensure that our environment is protected from the costs of this project.
“Investing in 20th century technologies that are known to contribute to our 21st century challenges is irresponsible and short-sighted. The negative impacts of this project on BC are unacceptable. BC would shoulder massive environmental costs, while gaining little economic benefit. A spill would be devastating to our environment, our coastal economies and our tourism industry.
“BC’s economic future lies in the innovative, creative industries that are leading global economic growth, not the sunset industries of yesterday. The world is transitioning to the low-carbon economy, with or without us. Innovator super-powers like Germany and China are investing heavily in the economic opportunities that arise from this transition.
“The federal government must prioritize growth sectors instead of wasting billions investing in fossil fuel companies that are quickly becoming obsolete.“The NEB found that there would be significant impacts on BC’s already endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Is the federal government ready to justify to Canadians why it is willing to herald the death knell of this iconic species?
The report also found that there would be “significant” greenhouse gas emissions from the expanded marine vessel traffic alone.
“It is unbelievably misguided to build more fossil fuel infrastructure at this critical juncture in our history. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to begin the immediate transition to the low-carbon economy.”
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