FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – West Coast Environmental Law and the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research released a study that shows the urgent need to consider the impacts of pending resource developments in B.C.
The findings come from conversations with around 200 people from Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton, Fort St. John and Chetwynd.
During these conversations, it was expressed that people feel frustration with the Federal as well as Provincial governments being able to manage the effects of multiple projects.
The conversations also found that people aren’t happy with the current situation of existing project-by-project assessment procedures.
“People in northern BC care deeply about the future of their lands and communities, and they deserve meaningful opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their environment,” said Hannah Askew, Staff Counsel at West Coast Environmental Law. “They also deserve a system for reviewing projects that considers the combined impacts of all the industrial activity that is happening in their region.”
The communities that were selected for these sessions all came from areas that have been affected by project proposals.
These projects include hydroelectric development, fracking, forestry and numerous proposals linked to BC’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
The report also shows the need for the government to involve those in these communities so that they don’t feel they are being left out of the process.
“The more residents feel excluded from environmental decision-making in their region, the more difficult it is for proponents to achieve social licence. We’ve seen this play out time and again, especially on major projects such as the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal on Lelu Island and the Site C dam in the Peace River Valley,” said Pat Moss of the Northwest Institute.
You can find the full report here.