Approval of Petronas LNG project further sabotages Canada’s climate action commitments

(OTTAWA) September 28, 2016 – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement in response to the federal government’s approval of a liquified natural gas (LNG) project for Flora Bank/Lelu Island in northern British Columbia:

“Even with environmental conditions, the Petronas LNG project will spew 5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “This government is embracing polluter industries over real climate action. I’m outraged the Trudeau Cabinet would betray its science, climate and First Nations promises in such a brazen way.”

“The fragile, 8,000-year-old Flora Bank is also critical to the survival of a declining salmon habitat on B.C.’s Coast. Peer-reviewed research by Patrick McLaren studying this bank illustrates the importance of this unique habitat. This government should also heed the wisdom of Otto Langer, former Chief of Habitat Assessment at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who warned that pile driving, dredging, lights, ship and dock noises, and potential spills will devastate the fish and bird habitat near Lelu Island. We must keep industry out of this fragile area,” Ms. May said.

Dr. Lynne Quarmby, Green Party Science Critic, is one of more than 90 scientists who penned a joint letter to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna last March to address Petronas’ LNG project.

“There are serious scientific flaws in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s report on this project,” Dr. Quarmby said. “When the authors conclude that the development ‘is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects’ to fish and fish habitat, they have lost credibility. Minister McKenna said repeatedly at her press conference last night that this decision was based on the best science and made in full respect of First Nations. She clearly has chosen to ignore the concerns of dozens of scientists from across Canada and affected First Nations about this ill-conceived LNG project,” Dr. Quarmby said.