Thursday, September 24, 2009

Canada can veto tanker traffic in Bay of Fundy's Head Harbour Passage - Opinion

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This opinion piece from the TJ says it all in very few words. AMEN!!


Art

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Published Thursday September 24th, 2009
Telegraph Journal: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/801596
On a recent diplomatic visit to the United States, Prime Minister Stephen Harper affirmed Canada's position on two contentious LNG terminal proposals in Maine. The U.S. federal approval process has no bearing on Canada, and LNG tankers will not be allowed to use Canadian waters in Head Harbour Passage.

This is welcome news to New Brunswick residents, who believe the terminals would imperil the environment and economy of an important tourism destination.

Canadians respect the authority of the American government to regulate development within U.S. borders. New Brunswickers are happy to participate in energy projects that serve the interests of both nations. Unfortunately, the proposed LNG terminals are poorly sited. To access these gas plants, tankers would need to traverse a treacherous passage, exposing Canadians to the risk of accident and environmental degradation. It is not a risk Ottawa is prepared to bear.
U.S. officials have urged Canada to participate in their site approval process and respect the final outcome. Federal politicians in this country have made no such commitment. They know they have a duty to protect Canadian citizens. That duty cannot be upheld by surrendering sovereign political authority to the bureaucrats of another nation.

If the situation were reversed, we have little doubt that representatives in Maine would stand fast for the interests of their constituents; indeed, that is what they have been doing, by championing the LNG proposals so vigourously. We respect their tenacity, and hope they will respect the steadfastness of Prime Minister Harper and New Brunswick MP Greg Thompson. This is not an issue on which Canadians are prepared to bend.

There are opportunities for communities in Maine and New Brunswick to profit from new energy development. Let's focus on projects that generate employment and revenues on both sides of the border, without either nation subjecting the other to undue risk.

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