The day after the province issued environmental assessment certificates to two liquified natural gas (LNG) pipelines planned for northern B.C. and an LNG export facility in Prince Rupert, Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson put forward a bill that would forbid the Oil and Gas Commission from allowing LNG pipelines to be converted for oil or bitumen transport.
Donaldson said if the bill passed, it would apply to all pipelines in B.C., including those already built.
“I think [companies] should be made to go back to the environmental assessment process if they’re going to change its use to oil, and if that becomes the will of the people, if there’s social license, then the bill can be amended… but right now people do not want to see a natural gas pipeline turned into an end run in order to get oil from the tarsands to our coast,” said Donaldson, who plans on reintroducing the bill when the legislature is back in session in February.
Donaldson said he felt the need to propose the bill after chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en expressed concern that Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad appeared to be backing away from a promise to introduce similar legislation, opting to instead use regulatory measures that would not have to go through the legislature.
Hereditary Chief John Ridsdale (Na’moks) was in Victoria for the bill’s introduction last Wednesday. Ridsdale said Rustad had promised legislation during a Moricetown visit in April.
“We accept legislation, but we don’t accept regulation because it is too easy to change,” is what Ridsdale said Rustad was told again less than a month ago, adding the chiefs also had a problem with the routes.