Headwaters ban ends soon

The current moratorium on coal bed methane development and exploration terminates on Dec. 18.

A moratorium on coal bed methane development in the Sacred Headwaters expires on Dec. 18 and the B.C. NDP and the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition (SWCC) are waiting to hear what the province has planned, if anything.

In preparation for any decision, which is currently the subject of much speculation, the Stikine constituency of the B.C. NDP gave the B.C. Liberals a drafted resolution by the B.C. NDP provincial council approved Dec. 1.

“It’s long past the time for the BC government to listen to First Nation, local community and regional concerns to ensure coal bed methane extraction does not take place in the Sacred Headwaters,” MLA Doug Donaldson, deputy energy critic, said.

“The risks far outweigh the benefits, when it comes to water that we all depend on for things like wild salmon.

“This particular activity at this location does not fall into that category.”

The Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers all originate in the 412,000 hectare Sacred Headwaters.

Coal bed methane exploration and development has the potential to damage wildlife and alter the natural river cycles, the resolution states.

The B.C. NDP are requesting a permanent moratorium on coal bed methane exploration and development in the Sacred Headwaters.

Just over six months ago Donaldson questioned fellow MLA Rich Coleman, minister of energy and mines and natural gas, regarding the absence of any word of a decision regarding the Headwater moratorium.

“It’s been three-and-a-half years,” Donaldson said.

“Surely, there are some results?”

Minister Coleman deferred to the Ministry

of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (MARR), saying that discussions between MARR, Shell and the Tahltan were occurring.

Three months ago, during a B.C. Liberal cabinet shuffle, MLA Ida Chong was appointed as head of MARR.

Donaldson is not the only one being stonewalled by B.C. leadership.

The SWCC has made several attempts to get any indication from the government regarding their intentions once the moratorium expires.

Shannon McPhail, SWCC executive director, has been part of the movement to protect the Sacred Headwaters for years and now she is preparing for all possibilities.

“We’re telling our people, shine your boots,” McPhail said.

“Because we’re either gonna be dancin’ in the streets or kickin’ some butt.”

The withholding of any sort of word from

the provincial government does not sit well with McPhail.

“It’s frustrating,” she said.

“To have to use all of the time available is a bit much.”

“I guess they’ve had a few other things on their mind.”

The fact that a potential decision could come during the Holidays means one side or the other is going to be having a blue Christmas, McPhail said.

McPhail adds a salutation to Royal Dutch Shell.

“We owe them a big favour,” she said.

“They’ve united us.

“People in Terrace wouldn’t have realized they are connected to people in Houston through our rivers.”

In fact, McPhail said, the awareness has made the entire area wise to corporate activity.

“Companies put forth their best foot when trying to get approval,” she said.

“As a watershed, we are now smarter than to accept their initial word.”

 

Just Posted

Gryphons girls graduate as coach moves on

Bulkley Valley SD54 van der Mark on his time as coach and education administrator.

Bulkley Valley members of The North Matter rally in Houston

Pro-pipeline and resource development group driving convoy Saturday, eyes expansion across the North

Open letter from Coast Mountains School District 82 Board of Education

Board commitment to ongoing collaboration to close outcome gaps with First Nations students.

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

RCMP seek Smithers gas station robbery suspect

Smithers RCMP are asking the public for any information on a robbery suspect.

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Smithers spring cleaning

Ryder, 6, and Kalia, 5, Vandergaag help clean up Smithers.

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read