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Delta/Richmond chapter holds public forum opposed to LNG expansion

Finn, Spratt and Darwish at last night's public forum in Ladner. Photo by Brigette DePape.

Finn, Spratt and Darwish at last night’s public forum in Ladner. Photo by Brigette DePape.

Vancouver-based Council of Canadians regional organizer Leila Darwish spoke against LNG export terminals in Ladner, British Columbia last night at a public forum organized by the Delta/Richmond chapter. The evening also featured speakers Eoin Finn from Save Howe Sound and Susan Spratt and was co-facilitated by Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape and Stephen Collis.

The chapter says, “We have learned that FortisBC plans a $400 million expansion of its Tilbury facility, and that a major new LNG port, capable of shipping 3 million metric tonnes of gas per year, has been proposed by WesPac Midstream LLC., to be built on the Fraser River next to the Fortis plant.”

A FortisBC media release notes, “The company is adding 1.1 million gigajoules of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to storage and 34,000 gigajoules per day of liquefaction capacity. …Construction will begin immediately. FortisBC anticipates that LNG from the expanded facility will supply transportation customers by the fourth quarter of 2016.” An Alaska Journal of Commerce article reports that WesPac is seeking to develop a $600 million LNG facility in Port MacKenzie, Alaska “with interim gas available from British Columbia by mid-2016.”

The chapter comments, “This is a huge expansion of fossil fuel processing, storage, and shipping, right in the middle of the delicate Fraser River estuary. It will mean many hundreds of massive LNG tankers on the river every year, and it will mean the increased danger of explosions, leaks, spills, and devastating accidents.” Local chapter activist Cathy Wilander adds, “All across B.C. and in Canada people are questioning LNG expansion. The latest Ekos poll shows a majority of people across Canada and in B.C. want a moratorium on fracking, the extractive process used to get LNG out of the ground.”

Darwish is currently on a 3-city speaking tour against LNG development in British Columbia with upcoming stops in Powell River (on November 2) and in Courtenay/ Comox (on November 4). There may also be public events in Victoria and Nanaimo in late November.