Oil and gas panel visits islands next month

  • Dec. 15, 2003 3:00 p.m.

The panel which will be holding public hearings on the oil and gas moratorium will visit the islands in January for a planning session.
Scott Gedak, the project manager for the BC offshore oil and gas moratorium public review panel, said the three-member panel will be in Skidegate sometime between Jan. 21 and 28. It will also visit Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Bella Bella Port Hardy and Vancouver.
The purpose of the January planning sessions, Mr. Gedak said, is to figure out which communities the panel should hold public hearings in, find out what issues the public wants to discuss, figure out the logistics for the hearings, and provide background information.
The public hearings will be held about a month after the scientific panel releases its report on the oil and gas moratorium. The scientific report is expected in February, which means the public hearings will probably be held in March, Mr. Gedak said.
The three-member panel is made up of chair Roland Priddle (a member of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame), former Prince Rupert mayor Don Scott and Vancouver lawyer Diana Valiela.
The public hearings will be open to absolutely everyone with an interest in the oil and gas issue, Mr. Gedak said. The panel will be asking people to pre-register, so it has some idea of how much time will be needed, but it will also try to be flexible enough to allow unregistered participants to share their views at the end of the session. A court reporter will be present and transcripts of each session will be posted on the web, he said.

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