VICTORIA, BC – The 2014 Budget released by the provincial government today made clear that the future of BC is being bet on LNG expansion with little regard for environmental protection or the long-term climate change impacts that this and other fossil fuel proposals will have on the province.
“As the industry and government are attempting to turn the Salish Sea into a fossil fuel highway, it’s revealing that the budget showed no meaningful investment in increasing capacity for environmental protection, in particular staff and equipment to better respond to spills,” says Christianne Wilhelmson, spokesperson from the Georgia Strait Alliance.
Though the budget showed some increases in areas such as Environmental Assessment, it is clear this relates to upcoming LNG proposals and is not intended to raise the bar on protecting BC’s environment. Across Ministries, LNG expansion is being touted as the “solution to all ills”, with no indication that the environmental impacts – from contamination from fracking to the rise in local greenhouse gas emissions are being considered.
“A study released last year revealed that existing oil spill response equipment does not meet the spill threats from current shipping traffic.” says Wilhelmson. “If the government wanted to show leadership, this budget should have included a financial commitment and a plan to fix today’s problems before signing on to further expansion plans.”
Formed in 1990, Georgia Strait Alliance is the only citizens’ group working to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of Georgia Strait, its adjoining waters and communities, the place where 75% of British Columbians live, work and play.
For more information, contact:
Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director
Georgia Strait Alliance