Political leaders to discuss Enbridge, other issues at meetings Friday and Monday

  • Jan. 11, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Island political leaders will be gathering in Port Clements Friday and Monday to hold meetings to discuss Enbridge, BC Hydro and other issues important to islanders. “There’s a panel coming here, we have a certain amount of time allotted, we want to make sure we have the best use of the time we have,” Haida Nation president Guujaaw told the Observer by telephone Tuesday afternoon. He was referring to the joint review panel looking into the Enbridge pipeline project, which will hold two hearings on Haida Gwaii, one in Masset on Feb. 28, the other in Queen Charlotte on Feb. 29. The CHN and many other islanders are strongly opposed to the project, which would involve tankers regularly crossing Hecate Strait on their way to Asia. The panel will hear presentations from those registered as intervenors, and then likely come back later to hear oral presenters. Guujaaw said there’s a lot of foreign money, including Chinese, in the pipeline project, and that Enbridge supporters are trying to distract those opposed to it by saying that US money is funding part of the opposition. The meetings will also hear from representatives of BC Hydro’s remote, isolated power division. “They want to talk about the power on this grid. We asked them to, (we’re) interested in how this is going to go,” Guujaaw said. The meetings will include representatives from the CHN, the two band councils as well as the incorporated villages and the regional district. Only the Monday afternoon session, in the Port community hall, is a protocol meeting and is open to the public. The last protocol meeting was held June 17 in Sandspit.