Northern B.C. mayors pen letter against Coastal GasLink challenge

Mayors in Northeast B.C. say they are disappointed with an 11th hour effort to stall a key liquefied natural gas pipeline from being built to the west coast.

Mayors Lori Ackerman, Dale Bumstead, Rob Fraser, Bill Streeper, Merlin Nichols, Don McPherson and Lorraine Michetti have signed their names to a letter to Michael Sawyer and the West Coast Environmental Law Association, which are challenging the province's jurisdiction over the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

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TransCanada's $4.8-billion pipeline will take natural gas from Northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where it will processed and shipped to Asian markets through Shell's LNG Canada project. Both projects have secured regulatory approvals, and a final investment decision on LNG Canada is imminent.

Sawyer, however, wants the National Energy Board to determine and issue an order that the pipeline is within federal jurisdiction and subject to the board's regulation rather than the province of B.C., which earlier approved the pipeline.

The mayors say they recognize the right to launch the challenge, but say both projects have been reviewed for years with plenty of opportunity for comment and challenge.

"We find it disappointing that your challenge is being raised at this point in time, when the respective project partners are on the verge of making an investment decision on what could be the single largest private investment in our nation’s history; an investment decision that could deliver an abundance of benefits to so many people in our communities, region, province, and across our entire nation," the mayors write.

"We stand united in our support for seeing the development of LNG Canada, and we will continue to voice our support for this project."

The mayors of Burns Lake, Mackenzie, New Hazelton, Terrace, Houston, Vanderhoof, and Kitimat also signed the letter.

Read the full letter by clicking here.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright 2018 Alaska Highway News

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