Moratorium will not be lifted soon: environment minister

  • Jul. 2, 2004 2:00 p.m.

There is no way the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas development will be lifted any time soon, Environment Minister David Anderson told the Observer Friday, Alex Rinfret writes.
Mr. Anderson, a Liberal MP from Victoria who was re-elected Monday, said the government is “not moving one iota” on changing the moratorium.
In response to requests from the provincial government, the federal Liberals did agree to spend about $1-million on a three-prong process, he said. The first part of that process, the Royal Society’s scientific report, identified knowledge gaps which will cost $140-million and take years to fill, he said.
Normally, industry would pay for the studies to fill the knowledge gaps, he said, but in this case there seems to be little interest from that sector. The drive to lift the moratorium is coming entirely from the provincial government, Mr. Anderson said.
The environment minister said he is “very, very, very confident” that the moratorium will stay put, even though the second stage of the process, a public review panel, has not yet released its report. He added that the offshore oil and gas industry is falling from favour in the United States, with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to stop drilling off the coast of California, and President George W. Bush agreeing to move Florida drilling activity 100 miles away from the coastline.
It’s “stupid argument number one” to suggest that it is unfair for Ottawa to allow drilling on the east coast and ban it on the west coast, he said, because the majority of British Columbians support the moratorium.
“I was the person who got this moratorium put in place 33 years ago,” he said. “Polling of British Columbians has shown that 70-percent oppose drilling.”
Events like Monday’s large earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii show this region has issues completely different from any encountered off the coast of Newfoundland, he added.
“We have a clear process, and that is not going to change,” Mr. Anderson said. “I’m damned if I’m going to let some idiot proceed with drilling.”

Just Posted

Tribesmen defeat Haida 77-61 in semi-final matchup at 2018 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament

Prince Rupert Tribesmen advance to finals to face Gitmidiik Storm

Haida Gwaii wrestlers make history at B.C. tournament

It was the first time a wrestling team from Haida Gwaii has ever competed in the B.C.-wide tournament

Young players skill up at Canada Rugby Sevens

Haida Gwaii students travel to Vancouver to watch the international rugby sevens tournament

Study finds no environmental harm from Fukushima

Another study has shown the B.C. coast has not suffered any adverse… Continue reading

Logging protest at Collison Point

Husby crews lock up gear after group led by Old Massett Haida calls for end of logging at Collison

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Most Read