While Kitimat Rod and Gun representative Mike Langegger opened by saying he was neither a lawyer nor “a seasoned public speaker”, he had no difficulty getting his point across at the National Energy Board hearing into the KM LNG export permit.
Langegger told the NEB panel that he wanted them to understand “the environment and our fish and wildlife values in this area are a huge aspect of the lifestyle of our community…and it’s important also in providing benefits and family bonds to our members and their children.”
And noting that the area where the terminal was to be built – Beese (Bish) Cove – was used by residents for fishing, hunting and recreation, he said they wanted to ensure that the area outside the LNG plant remained accessible to the public, that the roads wouldn’t be gated and access denied.
He also hoped that fish and wildlife values in the area would be “addressed properly”.
Langegger pointed out the area is known for grizzly bear, black bear and deer habitat while Bish Creek was a salmon-bearing stream.
In response to a question from the panel, he said such projects had an impact on fish and wildlife and therefore funds should be set aside by project proponents – not just KM LNG but what he called “the new generation” of industries coming to Kitimat – to mitigate those impacts.
“Specifically, what I would ask is that if this gas licence is approved and this project moves forward, that the establishment of a fund and a committee would be in place to specifically address fish, wildlife and habitat values to enhance them for future generations.”
What weight the NEB gives to Langegger’s presentation will have to wait for its eventual decision, the date of which in unknown given the hearing process has been put on hold (Sentinel, June 15).