2005 August 29
By JIM CORNALL
ST. STEPHEN Premier Bernard Lord is in favour of liquefied natural gas terminals.
But not in Passamaquoddy Bay.
The Premier told the Saint Croix Courier, and then reiterated the position at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday in St. Stephen, that he had the same concerns about LNG terminals as the people in the community.
"Tony (Western Charlotte MLA Tony Huntjens) clearly expressed the position that this site is not a site for an LNG. The natural surroundings do not support an LNG terminal. It was examined 30 years ago, and the conclusion was clear then. The surroundings haven’t changed."
"I took the time this morning to speak to Mayor John Craig, and he expressed to me the concerns he has and that the citizens have, that it would dramatically change the way of life here. I think there are other places that are better suited for LNG terminals Saint John.
"We don’t see any reason at all to support this project in any way. I know Tony has indicated that he will be writing to the Prime Minister, to the federal government, and some of this is a federal responsibility. The federal government must do its job to protect the interest of Canadians."
The Premier stated that this was not a decision made to thwart economic development in Washington County.
"There are other opportunities. I will be attending a meeting with the New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers this weekend in Newfoundland, and I expect Governor Baldacci to be there, and I will tell him very clearly that the people of New Brunswick and the citizens of Charlotte County are not supportive of the LNG terminals."
At the Chamber luncheon, responding to a question from businessman David Ganong on the LNG issue, the Premier stated his opposition to the projects.
"We intend to be very supportive of the community here in their efforts to prevent the LNG terminals," the Premier said.
Premier Lord said that recently announced funding from the U.S. government with respect to the third border crossing, which he anticipates will now be completed by 2008, was good news for the region economically.
"This will help St. Stephen. This will help the transportation corridor. This will be a big boost to St. Stephen."
The Premier added that this included twinning of the highway all the way from St. Stephen to Saint John.
"We can’t do everything at the same time, we have to make sure we live within our means, but it’s clearly within our plans to complete that. It makes sense for all of New Brunswick."
This statement also was made at the Chamber luncheon, comments that drew a great deal of applause.
"When the bridge and the new highway connections are finished, it will be a great benefit and a catalyst for the greater prosperity of Charlotte County and the Port of Saint John, and frankly for the entire province of New Brunswick. This is only a phase of this project. Once that’s completed, it’s our intention to complete the twinning all the way to Saint John."
Leader of the Opposition, Shawn Graham, has added his voice to the anti-LNG lobby, sending letters to the federal government and to Ambassador Frank McKenna.
Andy Scott, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, who is the regional minister for New Brunswick, said Wednesday that the federal government is monitoring the LNG issue in Passamaquoddy Bay very closely.
His executive assistant, Nancy McIntosh, was among the over 1,000 people who attended Monday night’s public meeting in St. Andrews, since Scott was unable to attend due to national caucus and federal Cabinet meetings this week in western Canada.
In a news release Wednesday he said, "I was impressed with the size of the audience and level of community support shown at Monday’s meeting in St. Andrews. These people are clearly concerned about the proposals to locate LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. I would like to commend the town of St. Andrews for organizing this meeting."
Scott said he believes there is no need to locate these facilities in an area that presents navigational difficulties and is home to numerous endangered or at-risk species.
"We will work together with New Brunswick and are prepared to act should an LNG project application be put forward. I want to recognize the many concerned citizens who have made interventions to my office objecting to these projects. I share their concerns as a New Brunswicker."
© 2005 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB