Where We Stand

Vision Statement:  The Douglas Channel Watch will work to protect the Douglas Channel and its tributaries. 

The Whale’s Tale
Newsletter for Douglas Channel Watch and its supporters
October 2014


This has been a busy summer and the fall is proving to be even busier so let’s get right to the business at hand.

Over the summer, DCW hosted visitors from Calgary’s Eye of the Storm.  They are a small group trying to learn about and support our efforts to oppose Northern Gateway.  Members Paul Armstrong, Reynold Reimer and Mary Nokleby were in Kitimat to see for themselves where the Pipeline would terminate. They plan to return to Kitimat next year as they found their entire journey very enlighteningand captivating.  What they found most extraordinary was the fact that they, and their position on the pipeline, were in the majority here in BC, as opposed to being a very small minority in Alberta.  Good for them for making the effort and going home energized!

On Sept. 11, LNG Canada (Shell, Mitsubishi, Petro China et al) held a public meeting to get feed back on their “Community Commitment Contract”.  The Community Contract is an agreement between residents of Kitimat and the company that lays out the commitments LNG Canada will make concerning how it operates and contributes to the community.  Several DCW members attended.

The entire meeting was filmed, although at least two of our members requested that their photos not be used.    There were ten commitments in the document but DCW found them to be very general motherhood issues.  For example the Company committed to following the rules and regulations laid down by law.  How they see that as a choice escapes us.

LNG Canada is moving towards submitting it’s Environmental Approval documents.  It will be available for public reaction, but it is a 7000 page, multi volume publication and we only have 90 days to read, inwardly digest and provide feedback.   Anyone wish to volunteer for that?  We thought not.  Timelines are way too short.  To be fair, this isn’t the Company’s fault, it’s a regulatory problem.  We’re being streamlined out of existence.

LNG Canada is crossing all its Ts, and dotting all its i’s, but the fact remains, it’s going to fill in a substantial part of the estuary and run ships as big as four soccer fields long, up and down the Channel.  RTA will have ships and so will any other LNG plant that goes ahead here.  There will be impacts in the air and in the water.

Correction: Our last newsletter stated that LNG Canada would be using and expanding the current Methanex dock.  This was an error.  They will be using the current Eurocan dock which will require less expansion.  They will still be building a new road through the wetland, however.

Because of Rio Tinto Alcan’s application to increase it’s emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) when it’s new, upgraded, aluminum smelter comes on line, there has been a great deal of concern about the air quality in the Kitimat Valley.  The Provincial Government commissioned an Air Shed Study which was finally released to the public on July 18th.  It can be found at http://www.bcairquality.ca/airsheds/kitimat-airshed-assessment.html  It’s a very technical document and you can choose to view the power point (which is a bit cryptic without a voice over) if you prefer.  The report considers RTA emissions as well as LNG facilities and David Black’s potential oil refinery export terminal but not Northern Gateway, interestingly enough. 

Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society, in partnership with Skeena Wild Conservation Trust and Kitimat residents Lis Stannus and Emily Toews are challenging this permit. 

Although their lawyers are working Pro Bono, they still need to raise $50,000 to cover transportation and accommodation for them and their expert witnesses. 

Please help toward this goal. There are 2 ways you can donate:                                                                                    

1. By cheque, made out to Skeena Wild Conservation Trust. Include a notation to say it’s for the SO2 appeal. Donations over $25 are eligible for a tax receipt so please include your name and address. Send to:

Skeena Wild Conservation Trust
4505 Greig Avenue, 
Terrace, BC, V8G 1M6                                                                      

2.On line at the following www.gofundme.com/clean-air

Kitimat Valley, Showing Lakelse Lake.  Terrace is just behind the foreground mountains
Kitimat Valley, Showing Lakelse Lake.  Terrace is just behind the foreground mountains

DCW has been trying to get an Air Shed Public Q and A meeting set up with the Ministry of the Environment and the authors of the report but feet have been dragged to the point where we really feel that they don’t want to do this.  So Greg Knox of Skeena Wild Conservation Trust agreed to bring a power point that he has compiled to Kitimat on October 8th.  This was very informative and we all got a good idea of how fragile our air shed actually is.

Meanwhile, Douglas Channel Watch sits on the Rio Tinto Alcan, Kitimat Public Advisory Committee in order to keep up to date on modernization issues and environmental concerns.

And last but not least, Enbridge, which has been lying low since the spring, is starting to show signs of life again.  Recently, an “Engagement Road Map”, a glossy, 28 page booklet arrived in Kitimat mailboxes.  It explains “how NG plans to engage with Aboriginal groups and stakeholders on draft plans created to meet the Project condition in 2014 and beyond.”  They have set up a number of public meetings.  Interestingly, the Smithers meeting was located in Houston, an hour’s drive down the highway.  The question keeps nagging – do they do this on purpose or are they that ignorant?  In Kitimat we staged a small protest outside and 3 people went in.  Enbridge staff outnumbered the public.

It doesn’t matter how they spin it.  The answer is still No Bitumen,  not now, not ever.

You can say "NO" to Enbridge by signing our petitiondonate to help us buy ads and signs, or sign up to volunteer for the continuing campaign.