Christopher Poon, Whistler Question, April 5, 2012
In a surprise move, Whistler council introduced and passed a motion officially declaring its opposition to the Northern Gateway oil pipeline project on Tuesday (April 3).
The motion comes after discussions at previous council meetings where some members of council voiced their opposition to the project, while others requested more time to research the project before committing to a stance. The announcement also follows much discussion within the community about what impact such a project may have on Whistler should an oil tanker spill its load while sailing past the coast.
“Any kind of catastrophe in the inside passage would have a serious effect on tourism (in Whistler),” said Coun. Roger McCarthy. “A big piece of the business that gets on that ship to Vancouver gets off those ships and come up here. So there’s an impact from a business standpoint as well as an impact environmentally.”
Coun. Crompton agreed.
“I have received some feedback saying ‘Stick to your knitting, focus on taking care of what’s important in Whistler,’ and I think this does that,” said Crompton. “It says to the federal government, the provincial government and the world that environmental disasters on our coasts would significantly damage us and our community.
“I’m hopeful our stance adds something to the conversation.”
With that, council voted unanimously to pass the motion which not only expressed Whistler’s opposition to the project, but the RMOW’s opposition to the federal government’s relaxing of the rivers and fisheries laws to allow the building of the pipeline.
“The RMOW also expresses its solidarity and supports the position of other communities in their position to stand against the building of this project and its impacts,” read part of the motion.
[The foregoing is an excerpt from the complete article]