VICTORIA B.C. – Climate scientist and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has written to Alberta NDP premier Rachel Notley, challenging her to a public debate on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Weaver’s challenge is in response to Notley’s plan to visit British Columbia several times to “sell” the pipeline project to British Columbians.
“In the last couple weeks we have seen a number of politicians tell British Columbians why the pipeline is good for them, without actually listening to what we are saying. If Premier Notley wants to come to British Columbia to ‘sell’ us on this pipeline, then her visit needs to be about more than media interviews and backroom meetings. I am asking for a public forum that allows us to have an open and honest debate about what the evidence really says.
“I have heard both Premier Notley and Prime Minister Trudeau make claims that the evidence shows we can safely manage this pipeline. As both a scientist and the only BC MLA to serve as an intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings, I can say unequivocally that there is no evidence that supports the notion that we are prepared to respond to a heavy oil spill on our coast. It is critical that British Columbians are able to witness and take part in an honest debate about the evidence.
Weaver’s letter requests that the debate be televised so that British Columbians who want the facts “can hear them live and unscripted”.
“Part of the reason people are so concerned is that they have been shut out of this process. Hundreds of people were denied the ability to participate in the National Energy Board hearings. Those who could participate were denied the right to orally cross-examine Trans Mountain on their evidence. And now it looks an awful lot like political calculation and backroom horse-trading are ramming this pipeline through, despite serious concerns that have been raised by of British Columbians.
“You cannot address those concerns through closed-door meetings and media interviews. Only an open, unscripted debate will give British Columbians the opportunity to hear their concerns truly represented and responded to.”
A specific date will be set for the debate, pending a response from Premier Notley.
Andrew Weaver received intervenor status in the National Energy Board hearing on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project both as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and as a scientist with a doctorate in applied mathematics and with specialty in physical oceanography and atmospheric and climate science. As an MLA, he represents the constituency of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, which is located along the Trans Mountain Tanker Sailing Route on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. He was the only B.C. MLA with intervenor status in the hearing process.
As a scientist, Weaver served as Lansdowne Professor and Canada Research Chair in climate modeling and analysis in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, where he worked for over 20 years. He was a lead author on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th scientific assessments and has authored and coauthored over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers. Weaver is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Throughout the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain NEB hearings, he applied his scientific expertise, particularly in physical oceanography and modelling.
Mat Wright, Press Secretary, Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
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