Ouster of Environment Minister could affect moratorium

  • Mon Jul 26th, 2004 5:00am
  • News

By Heidi Bevington-Islanders and others concerned about oil and gas development regret Prime Minister Paul Martin’s decision to leave former Environment Minister David Anderson – an outspoken supporter of the offshore moratorium – out of the new federal cabinet.
“It’s obvious that the Liberal government has an agenda that doesn’t include listening to people,” said Lynn Lee of Tlell, who helped organize local protests earlier this year when the federal review panel visited the islands. “Although they say oil and gas was not a factor, since Anderson was the only cabinet minister vocally opposed, it sends a clear message.”
CHN president Guujaaw said Mr. Anderson would be missed.
“A delegation from the islands met with Mr. Anderson and were impressed with his body of knowledge. Mr. Emerson would be wise to keep consulting with David Anderson in this matter. If he shares that body of knowledge with his colleagues, I think they will come to the same conclusions he did,” Guujaaw said.
Industry Minister David Emerson’s suggestion to look at lifting the oil and gas moratorium on BC’s coast reflects a dramatic reversal from the Liberal campaign promises of last month, said the David Suzuki Foundation.
“The Liberals campaigned on a vision of a 21st century economy, including meeting our Kyoto targets, pushing for environmental innovation and creating sustainable development,” said Jim Fulton, executive director of the foundation, in a press release. “Emerson’s interest in lifting the moratorium in Canada’s Galapagos, an area of global ecological significance, puts the integrity of Martin’s cabinet into serious question.”
Meanwhile, the federal review panel that visited the islands will accept comments until Aug. 6 on the materials presented at the public hearings. Copies of submissions, and transcripts of the meetings are available at www.moratoriumpublicreview.ca