Northern MPs dispute impact of Pacific Northwest LNG

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Local MP Bob Zimmer is challenging a northwestern B.C. MP’s support of LNG projects, specifically Pacific NorthWest LNG, and the economy in the north.

In an op-ed penned by Zimmer, the member of parliament for Prince George – Peace River – Northern Rockies, he scrutinized new democrat Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen for acting contrary to his statements and only suggesting ‘unnecessary road blocks and proudly supporting Anti-LNG  messages.’

“While he claims to be supportive of LNG projects, Mr. Cullen’s actions don’t seem to make that the case,” said Zimmer.

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Cullen had written in a letter on his website, in which he outlines his support for ‘smart and carefully selected LNG projects,’ as they can can create thousands of jobs in the Northwest’s economy.

“Like many people in the Northwest, I support smart industrial development that meets the standards of rigorous science and has First Nations and community backing,” the NDP member of parliament wrote.

The letter acknowledges the pro-LNG Truck Rally that happened in Terrace last week, and hints at Cullen’s disapproval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project’s proposed location on Lelu Island, which he has had a public stance.

Last week, residents and contractors took to the streets in Terrace to voice their support for LNG projects broadly, and with an immediate focus on the Pacific Northwest LNG project on Lelu Island. Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna’s decision on the project is due by March 22.

From the very start, many in the region wondered why Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned energy company, and the federal and provincial governments chose Lelu, a site that is much more expensive to build on and much more damaging to wild salmon habitat and the entire Skeena River system.

He has suggested the Pacific NorthWest LNG project move its proposed location from Lelu Island to Ridley Island – a move that Zimmer says would require a complete environmental review, delaying the project even further and put thousands of jobs in his riding at risk.

“This has left many local residents wondering if Mr. Cullen is truly supportive of LNG or if it is just lip service,” Zimmer wrote.


Zimmer was one of the speakers at FSJ for LNG’s truck rally last week, where he urged residents to keep writing to the Feds in support of LNG projects. Rallies were also held in Terrace and Fort Nelson, and he said it could have been an ‘opportunity for Mr. Cullen to come forward and truly show his support for the industry and the thousands of jobs it would create.’

Following Cullen sharing what appears to be an anti-LNG message seen in Ottawa, he and Zimmer had an exchange on Twitter.

Zimmer concludes his letter by stating that B.C. LNG has the’ massive potential’ to provide a positive impact on global air pollution.

“Electricity generated by natural gas has 50 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal-generated electricity, making it the cleaner option,” he states, adding that countries like China, India and others would be able to breathe cleaner air as a result.

“If LNG projects in British Columbia are completed, Asia would see a massive reduction of emissions and be a positive for our global environment.”

In his letter, Cullen also points out the open letter that 130 scientists wrote to Ottawa, urging federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to reject a ‘scientifically-flawed’ report on the project.

The $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project, proposed by Petronas, has been delayed for at least another three months to allowed for the company to design pollution-prevention plans.

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