Monday, April 18, 2011

POLITICS: Answers on LNG and Nuclear in SW NB from Jason Farris, CHP


QUESTION 1. Will you oppose the development of heavy industry, specifically LNG terminals, in Passamaquoddy Bay by prohibiting the passage of LNG  tankers through Head Harbour Passage?

Canada needs to defend its territory and protect its environment. This includes the ecosystem in the waters of Head Harbour and Passamaquoddy Bay. According to the LNG industry itself, the area in question is inherently unfit for an LNG facility. There is no way LNG Tankers could transit through Head Harbour without subjecting residents in numerous Canadian and American communities to the 2.2-mile “Hazard Zone” defined by the US Government that accompany these ships. Using this passage is in violation of the industry’s own best safe practices. While I’d like to heard more on this subject from both sides, I choose to err on the side of caution and proper stewardship of our environment.

QUESTION  2. Head Harbour Passage/ West Isles has been identified as an important and special ecological area of Canadian Significance. Will you pursue the establishment of a Marine Protected Area or some other type of management zone at this location to protect it from unsuitable and unsustainable future developments while honoring the traditional fishery, small-scale shipping, tourism and light manufacturing that currently exists? 

I'm a big fan of local, small-scale farming and fishing. I grew up around it and I believe it's extremely important to our society. I would definitely be in favour of protecting the Head Habour Passage from future large-scale development. Our world is all we have, and we need to act responsibly when using it.

QUESTION 3. Since nuclear development has been clearly demonstrated to be the single most destructive force on this planet, will you strive for the immediate decommissioning of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station?

This is a huge issue, especially at this time in the world with the incident in Japan. NB Power is apparently losing $1 billion every day that the plant is offline. There has been a large sum of money already poured into the plant, yet it still isn’t finished. The question becomes, when do we suck it up and take a loss before we go further into debt? On having nuclear power in this province in general, I suppose I look at it like this... are the risks worth the benefits? It’s easy to say yes when things are good and jobs are on the line, but what if we had a situation like Japan? Would we be so quick to support nuclear power? Ok, so we’re not earthquake prone, I’ll give you that. (Though stranger things have happened.) But consider that if something ever did occur, none of the alternative power sources have the potential to contaminate massive areas of land for decades and to deliver chronically debilitating doses of radiation. What if we never even have a problem with the reactor? You still have to consider that nuclear power plants produce lethal toxic waste that must be isolated from nature and civilization for, well, pretty much all time. This is not good stewardship of our land. I would speak at length with the residents of this riding before making any final decisions, to hear all sides, but my personal opinion is yes, I would support the decommissioning of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. I would further encourage the development of clean, safe technologies and push for incentives to stimulate research into energy and pollution. This decision, however, would include a loss of jobs for our residents. Therefore, for those affected I would push to make retraining available in alternative power technologies and renewable energies, and provide interest-free loans to those that need them. Change is inevitable, but we can learn and adapt to make that change into something positive. 
 If you need any specific bio info on me, you should be able to find everything you need at http://www.jasonfarris.ca/candidate/candidate-bio/ My website is www.JasonFarris.ca and my public phone number is 1-888-527-5566. Thanks very much. Jason Farris New Brunswick President CHP Canada

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