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Stephen Hume: Clark needs to step up on environment

B.C. is fast earning a reputation as a bungler, both at home and abroad, on key environmental concerns

By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun Columnist November 25, 2015

Wednesday’s agreement between Premier Christy Clark and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker promising protection for shared environments from new mining developments on trans-boundary salmon rivers won’t quell the grassroots opposition swelling in the Northern U.S. state.

In fact, it might even make things more difficult for B.C.’s ambitious northwest development plans. Alaskan First Nations, fishing and environmental groups are already signalling a desire to trigger U.S. federal intervention through the International Joint Commission under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty. What happened to the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines — once promoted as a sure thing to carry Alberta’s oilsands crude to tidewater — might serve as a cautionary examples.

And recent events in B.C. won’t up the credibility quotient for provincial promises.

Let’s see, in southern B.C. we have run-off that wasn’t supposed to be there flowing where it wasn’t supposed to go — into Shawnigan Lake — from a contaminated soil dump approved by the province on assurances that water shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t leave the site.

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