FORT NELSON, B.C. – Tempers are flaring in northern British Columbia over liquefied natural gas.
Last week, the Fort Nelson First Nation expelled provincial government officials from its LNG summit over the province’s decision to change environment assessment rules for gas plants.
Now the municipal government of the Northern Rockies, which includes the city of Fort Nelson, says the decision to eject the officials was a “knee-jerk” reaction.
In an open letter, Mayor Bill Streeper calls the expulsion “discriminatory exploitation” and apologizes for the incident.
Streeper says the region welcomes the sustainable economic opportunity offered by shale gas extraction, which he says will benefit the entire region, including the Fort Nelson First Nation.
Environment Minister Mary Polak quickly reversed the rule change that exempted sweet gas plants from automatic provincial environmental assessments, saying government would consult with First Nations.