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HomeNewsWest Coast Olefins Pineview project defeated by the Regional District

West Coast Olefins Pineview project defeated by the Regional District

RDFFG office in Prince George, Nov.18th meeting (Photo by Brody Langager, MyPGNow)

The Regional District of Fraser Fort George brought back the discussion on whether the Natural Gas Extraction Plant slated for the Pineview area should go to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).

Jim Martin, the Chief Administrative Officer, said in a statement that in his time with the Regional District he’s never experienced the outcome that was had on November 18th when the district came to a stalemate on whether the West Coast Olefins (WCOL) project should go to the next step.

It was not a stalemate this time around, as the project was defeated with 5 for it, and 9 against it.

Those for:

  • Lyn Hall
  • Kyle Sampson
  • Terri McConnachie
  • Warren Wilson
  • Allan Frederick

Those against:

  • Art Kaehn
  • Joan Atkinson
  • Owen Torgerson
  • Danielle Alan
  • Lara Beckett
  • Kevin Dunphy
  • Bill Empey
  • Terry Burgess
  • Murry Krause

Martin also said they received a letter from WCOL’s lawyer suggesting that the stalemate should have pushed through the application.

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“Their legal council suggest that based on the tie vote on the resolution at the last meeting to allow the application to advance, that the application should be forwarded to the ALC, since in the lawyer’s opinion there was no clear outcome for or against.”

Martin added that they disagreed, and that the decision would be put to another vote.

It was also brought up multiple times in the discussion that there was a lot of bullying and harassment from people sending in voicemails and messages regarding the District’s decision.

“I recognize that they were genuine and impassioned appeals. I was however appalled by some of the bullying and threatening language in some of these letters,” said Director Lara Beckett.

Directors Kyle Sampson and Lyn Hall also talked about the letters they received.

“It’s wrong, that’s not right. And just because you can hide behind a keyboard, especially those who submitted anonymous ones or left me voicemails from a blocked number. You know what, grow up, that’s not public discourse and I won’t engage in that,” said Sampson.

All the Directors in favour of pushing the project on to the next step of delegation said that they weren’t necessarily in favour of the Natural Gas Extraction Plant, but wanted to give due process.

“This is not a vote on whether we like Ken James, or the applicant I should say. This is a vote on the merit of the project, and whether or not we want to see more information come forward on that,” said Sampson.

Those in opposition made it clear that there were other places for the project to go.

“It shouldn’t go to the land commission, it should be killed in it’s track, and the proponent could go look at all those industrial areas that we have. Some of them are right near the pipeline, one I can think of specifically crosses the pipeline,” said Director Terry Burgess.

It was also brought up that the Lheidli T’enneh made it clear that they disapproved of the project, and many others saw issues with the application as well.

The property in Pineview is currently zoned as Rural 3, meaning it’s open to be used for things like homes, agriculture, forestry, or open space recreation.

The Prince George Farmer’s Institute mentioned that the application may set a concerning precedent for using Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land for non agriculture use.

The Prince George Cattleman’s Association said that the proposed site is too close to the Pineview area, and suggested the project go to areas north of Prince George that would not affect the airshed.

Ministry of Agriculture gave notes saying that there are no plans in the proposal for buffering or edge planning to mitigate potential noise, odour, and dust that could impede the surrounding agricultural areas.

Melanie Perrin, Manager of Public Safety Operations said that the Pineview Volunteer Fire Department may not be equipped to handle any hazardous situations that could come from the potential development.

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