Letters to the Editor for the Week of November 17

BC Nautical Residents Association (BCNRA) - Liveaboard community are residents, too

Editor:

The BC Nautical Residents Association (BCNRA) was founded in 2010 by a group of liveaboard boaters to encourage living aboard responsibly and to find solutions to issues faced by people who live on the water.

Several of BCNRA’s members live aboard their boats in ‘Dogpatch’. They are citizens: they shop, work, volunteer, and vote in Ladysmith and the environs. Liveaboards are like many of Ladysmith’s land-based residents – a mix of educational and professional backgrounds, interests, incomes, and political viewpoints. Like most Canadians, they just want to live and let live.

Liveaboard vessels by definition are not derelicts. Derelict “… generally means vessel or cargo which has been abandoned and deserted at sea by those who were in charge of it without any hope of recovering it.” (BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ Technical Staff Guide on Problem Vessels) The question of liveaboards in Dogpatch should not be conflated with the issue of the Vicki Lynne.

Some of the boats may be unsightly but then, some houses in our coastal communities would never make it into Better Homes and Gardens.  No one demands the houses be eliminated. Why should anchored boats be banished? Buildings must conform to bylaws. Why not boats? Land-based residents pay for water, garbage, fire, and police protection. Why not set up a system for liveaboards to pay for the services they use?

For those boats that are derelict, the Coast Guard has the expertise to dispose of them in an environmentally sustainable way. Disposal should be funded appropriately.

The BCNRA is encouraged that the municipality has struck a working group, comprising government, local First Nations, and stakeholders, including boaters, to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution.

Rick Schnurr, DirectorBill Sassaman, Directorwww.bcnr.org

FIREWORKS LEAD TO HARSH WORDS

Editor:

After reading about the petition to ban the use of fireworks by private individuals, I remembered an exchange that occurred last year, when I asked a fellow in my neighborhood to stop setting off fireworks because they where scaring my granddaughter and my dog and cats.

His reply was that my granddaughter should be in a special home on Halloween. According to him, all scared kids and pets should be put in special homes. This was particularly hurtful as my granddaughter is a special needs child.

Ron Strazza,Ladysmith

Five LNG whoppers

Editor:

Our research has uncovered a pattern of misinforming claims about LNG:

100,000 Jobs – Regulatory filings made by LNG proponents show that job creation from new LNG terminals would be very small, around 100–300 permanent jobs per facility. There would be a few thousand more jobs during the construction phase, but these are only temporary. There would also be gains to the upstream gas sector, but adding it all up we don’t come anywhere close to 100,000 jobs.

Debt-free BC (aka $100 billion Prosperity Fund) – This claim is based on a fantasy world where (a) BC launches a massive LNG industry that is equivalent to one-third of all current world LNG exports; (b) those exports fetch top dollar in Asia; and (c) BC puts in place a tax and royalty regime that captures a fair share of those gains.

None of this is happening. Market prices for LNG in Asia have crashed.

Over 150 years of gas supply – BC’s Natural Gas minister Rich Coleman claims BC has 2,933 trillion cubic feet of gas in reserve. While there may be this much gas in the ground, most of it will never be profitable to extract. Typically no more than 10–20 per cent of what is called “in-place resources” can be recovered from shale gas deposits.

Minimal impact on BC’s water – All of this new supply will come from fracking, where sand, water and chemicals are forced into wells, cracking open the shale beds containing the gas. Water used in fracking operations is so contaminated it must be kept in tailings ponds. Another risk is that drinking water supplies in northeast BC aquifers could also be contaminated by fracking, as they have been in other parts of North America.

Reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions – Lower emissions from burning gas instead of coal only apply at the point of combustion. Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is 86 times more heat-trapping than carbon dioxide, so small leaks at points along the supply chain can wipe out any emissions advantage. In addition, LNG is very energy-intensive, requiring some 20 per cent of gas to be consumed in the liquefaction, transport and regasification processes.

Climate change is principally caused by extracting carbon from below ground and putting it into the atmosphere. When we add it all up, BC’s plans for LNG are equivalent to adding 24 million cars to the roads of the world (and not hybrid or electric ones).

Marc LeeSenior EconomistCentre for Policy Alternatives