June 25th, 2012

New Democrats kick off BC environment tour

MPs to attend Enbridge pipeline hearing and tour proposed oil tanker route

VANCOUVER — New Democrat MPs from British Columbia were joined by NDP Deputy Leader and Environment Critic Megan Leslie (Halifax) as they kicked off a tour of BC focussed on environmental issues.

“We’ve just finished an extraordinary session for the Official Opposition in Ottawa,” said Deputy Leader Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East. “We worked hard to bring Canadians’ concerns to the floor of the House of Commons, now we’re continuing that work in our communities.”

New Democrat MPs will tour the coast this week to hear British Columbians’ concerns about tanker traffic and the proposed Enbridge Pipeline. On Monday, they are meeting with groups concerned about the environment in Vancouver before heading to Terrace and Kitimat.

Throughout the parliamentary session New Democrats heard from many concerned British Columbians about the recent gutting of environmental protection laws hidden within the Conservative budget bill.

“In just one piece of legislation, the Conservatives have torn up environmental assessment procedures, gutted protection for fish habitats, eliminated BC’s Emergency Oil Spill Response Centre, cut the coast guard and taken Canada out of Kyoto,” said Leslie.

“The Conservative budget bill was devastating for BC,” said Davies. “We know that Conservative MPs in our province have concerns as well. But it’s become very clear that backbench government MPs have simply become a rubber stamp for Stephen Harper.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, MPs will travel to Terrace and Kitimat to attend an Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel Hearing, meet with municipal councils, host a public forum and tour the proposed oil tanker route in Kitimat.