Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


March 10, 2010

Gasification plant proposal and air quality in Kamloops

S. Simpson: The question in Prince George is why the minister did absolutely nothing for 18 months after he learned of this problem and ignored it until he got embarrassed into doing something a week ago.

The people of Prince George aren't alone in their concerns about the performance of this minister. A gasification plant that will burn over 2½ million creosote railway ties over the next decade is planned and moving ahead in Kamloops. This is regardless of a unanimous opposition by the mayor and council and more than 800 people rallying at the office of the MLA for Kamloops–North Thompson.

What has the minister done about this? The minister has ignored the people of Kamloops and has ignored their concerns for over a year. This is a controversial issue. There's been no leadership from this minister to try to bring a resolution. Instead, the minister issues a permit without an environmental assessment and calls the people of Kamloops emotional because they're concerned about air quality.

Tomorrow night the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is holding a forum on this issue of this plant. Will the minister finally talk to the people of Kamloops? Will he go to Kamloops tomorrow, and will he talk to the people at this forum?

...

S. Simpson: If the minister believes any of the stuff the public affairs bureau has written for him, does he have the courage to go to Kamloops tomorrow night and talk to the people of Kamloops about this?

For 18 months in Prince George, 20 times the allowable formaldehyde levels were ignored by this minister, when he should have taken action. For almost a year in Kamloops the city council and citizens were stonewalled by this minister on their concerns about air quality. Sadly, the Liberal MLAs from Prince George and Kamloops did nothing to stand up for their communities.

We know there's a lack of courage. The question now is: is there negligence, and is there incompetence? Will the minister stand up for these communities and stand up for air quality once?

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