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NEWS RELEASE · 18th December 2012
MP Nathan Cullen
MP Nathan Cullen praised today’s decision by the government of British Columbia to impose a permanent ban on oil and gas exploration in the Klappan Range in the province’s northwest.

Cullen called the move to protect the headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers a “great victory for the Tahltan and the people of the Northwest and BC.”

He also signalled that the choice of the BC Liberal government to wait until the very last moment to make this very sensible decision is somewhat perplexing, on the other hand.

“The four-year moratorium on industrial exploration in the area was set to expire today, but due to the tireless efforts of so many, the BC government finally listened, and we were able to finally protect the headwaters,” said an elated Cullen in Prince Rupert.

Today’s announcement will extend this moratorium permanently, giving greatly needed protection for the region’s great population of grizzly bears, stone sheep, caribou and wild salmon.

The move to protect the region comes at a time when, more often than not, the ruling falls in the other direction and big industrial interests win out over the rights of First Nations and the environment.

Protecting the Sacred Headwaters underlines the importance of operating a resource economy in a way that respects the environment at the same time as it creates jobs.

“Joint partnerships between industry and people are essential to ensuring that development does not compromise the pristine beauty of the region or the homelands and traditional ways of life in the community,” Cullen noted. “We want economic development in the north, but it has to work and be positive for the people who live here.

“There’s a contrast here with Enbridge and the Northern Gateway pipeline, which poses tangible and unacceptable risks to our homes and our environment. We will defend our rivers. We will defend our coast,” said Cullen.

“Shell did the right thing. The only thing. We’re looking to Enbridge next to do the right thing, and respect the will of the community.”