LETTERS: No agreement for Metlakatla

Editor:

Re: Tree-spikers cling to Lelu Island, BC Views column, July 20.

Editor:

Re: Tree-spikers cling to Lelu Island, BC Views column, July 20.

The Metlakatla First Nation does not have a benefit agreement signed with Pacific NorthWest LNG for the proposed Lelu Island project.

Unfortunately, factually incorrect information was published in several Black Press newspapers across the province, stating that, “The Metlakatla, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum and Gitxaala bands have benefit agreements for the project.”

There is a term sheet signed that could lead to an Impact Benefit Agreement in the future, but to state that a benefits agreement has been signed is simply not true.

Shaun Thomas,Metlakatla First Nation

• • •

Columnist Tom Fletcher seems to believe protecting salmon is not only bad, but dishonest. He suggests it’s an effort to cover up an international plot to kill B.C.’s oil and gas opportunities and Alberta’s oilsands.

This allegation has been raised and debunked many times, so it is disappointing it would resurface again.

His column falsely asserts that, along with other groups, the Moore Foundation has “poured money into anti-LNG campaigns in B.C., as they funded opposition to oilsands development before them. Indeed, the record suggests the long project to establish what environmental front groups named the Great Bear Rainforest was a strategy to stop hydrocarbon exports from western Canada, even as U.S. sources ramped up production.”

The foundation’s Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative supports groups working to ensure that all factors are fairly respected in development decisions. It does not fund efforts to stop oil and gas development.

Salmon support a huge economy that provides jobs, social and cultural benefits. And, in B.C., unlike many other parts of North America, we still have a chance to keep most salmon watersheds intact. This is why the foundation supports the efforts of communities to protect these fish.

We are proud supporters of the Great Bear Rainforest, not because we are “anti” anything else, but because this is a unique region.

It is a region that deserved to be protected on its own merits – a fact so clear that federal, provincial and First Nation governments came together with industry and environmental groups to ensure it would be. To portray this impressive collaboration as an anti-oil and gas does a disservice to the broad array of Canadians and First Nations that prioritized its preservation.

There isn’t anything unusual about Canadian environmental groups requesting and receiving donations from international foundations that share the same environmental goals.

Ivan Thompson, manager for Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation

 

 

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