ROBERT BARRON CITIZEN
The Cowichan Valley Regional District is clarifying its position on liquefied natural gas facilities in the district.
At last week’s meeting, the board of directors released a statement saying it’s aware of its responsibilities to give “appropriate consideration” to all land-use applications to the district in accordance to the Local Government Act.
The statement comes after the board unanimously voted at its meeting on Feb. 10 that it wants no part of the $37.5-million proposal to build an LNG facility in Mill Bay, or any other LNG proposal in the district.
Director Lori Iannidinardo introduced that motion after reviewing chatter on social media regarding plans by the Malahat Nation and Vancouver-based Steelhead LNG to develop an LNG facility at the Mill Bay site.
At the time, the board decided that the benefits of the project don’t outweigh its potential pitfalls to the environment, as well as to the local coastline, if there is a spill or fire.
But chairman Jon Lefebure said that as part of the board’s responsibilities on land-use issues and applications, all applicants must get a “fair hearing.”
“We must listen to all sides on these issues with an open mind and we didn’t have the applicant appear before us before we made this decision,” he said.
“That’s a tough one for some members of the public to understand. But there are rules that apply to us when making these decisions and we must have fair hearings,” Lefebure said.