The Queen Charlotte management committee will not make a public statement about offshore oil and gas development because it isn’t mandated to do so, according to chair Anne Mountifield.
“The committee is not in a position to make such a statement. The committee is a sub-committee of the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District, and it is not mandated to take an independent stance as are other incorporated communities on Haida Gwaii,” she said, “The committee reiterates that each member is entitled to take a position on an individual basis”.
Queen Charlotte resident Rolf Bettner recently wrote two letters to the committee, asking members to take a position on behalf of the community regarding oil and natural gas development.
Mr. Bettner “would like the management committee to take a firm stand and in so doing reflect an island wide solidarity against offshore oil and gas,” he said.
At the management committee meeting May 5, committee members discussed Mr. Bettner’s first letter, and declined to make a formal public statement as a group.
In a second letter, Mr. Bettner wrote, “As you stated in response to my April 28th letter,–‘though the Queen Charlotte/Skidegate Landing Management Committee (QC/SL MC) does not have a position on oil and gas, we have, as individuals made our views known. In this serious issue we continue to encourage the members of the community to do the same, speaking to the Federal Panel-addressing their concerns.'”
“Yes, this is a serious issue and it is my fervent belief that we must stand together in solidarity-as a community and indeed as an island-as well as individuals, if we are to be successful against a government that has been shown to have other priorities.”
“I urge you and your fellow to councilors to develop a formal position on behalf of the citizens of Queen Charlotte-Skidegate Landing and communicate it to the Priddle Commission before theirÂ…deadline.”
The committee received and filed Mr. Bettner’s letter without discussion at their May 19 meeting.
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