Did I read this right in “Stepping on the GAS,” by Helmut Manzl in the Oct. 10 issue of The Chief: “the mayors of Whistler and Pemberton plus an entourage of others lobbying the B.C. Minister of Environment during the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities conference to shelve the GAS proposal”?
The municipal politicians to the north quite obviously confuse the mandate of the Ministry of Environment with that of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. Isn’t the job of the former to evaluate the desirability of a given project purely on the basis of its environmental impact, totally independent of any economic considerations? Surely, the Whistler-Pemberton coalition would not support a similar self-serving lobbying effort by, for example, Enbridge for its oil pipeline to influence Environment Canada. Their argument springs strictly from such self-serving economic considerations and should therefore have absolutely no bearing on the final assessment of GAS by the Minister of Environment — assuming of course, that the Ministry of Environment really does live up to its mandate.
Perhaps our mayor and council were not missing in action after all, but just restrained about this issue, as they should be until the environmental assessment for GAS is done. That will be the time for discussions on the economics as well as the perceived benefits and risks for district residents and taxpayers to begin.