By now both you and your readers should be aware of Nexen Energy’s proposed Aurora LNG project slated for the south end of Digby Island near Prince Rupert. This proposal is directly adjacent to my community of Dodge Cove on Digby Island and will have significant impacts on the people living here should it go ahead. In truth the impact has already begun, as uncertainty, regarding our futures both as individuals and as a community hangs in the balance.
In response to Nexen’s proposal, the community sent a petition to the company stating that we feel the project “would alter our lives and community irreparably”.
How is it that senior levels of government are allowing these LNG plants to be built so close, (now within 1/2 kilometre of our community boundaries) to inhabited areas like ours, Prince Rupert, Port Edward and Metlakatla? Despite the LNG industry’s continued safety mantra, these are still large, potentially explosive devices. I also wonder what Transport Canada has to say about such a facility as Nexen/Aurora being built adjacent to the airport runway of Prince Rupert Airport, YPR, also situated on Digby Island.
After the petition, Nexen was invited to Dodge Cove to provide background information on their project and to field questions. Nexen sent five of its people, a recording device and a contacted facilitator, which I found odd. They must have expected us to be unruly, which was far from the reality. We hosted them as the guests they were and walked them through our community down to the beach looking toward their proposed site. My neighbours conducted themselves respectfully in the face of impending disaster and Nexen’s people were treated with consideration. I’m not sure that will be the case in the future.
Nexen’s employees were pleasant and appeared attentive, but I’ve never met P.R. who weren’t. They informed us that south Digby was now their preferred site and that they had ruled out the alternate site, Grassy Point.
This revelation removed the one hope we had fostered of this facility being built far away from our community. The thought of a 4,000-plus work camp on out doorstep began to hit home.
As the evening progressed, Nexen explained various aspects of the proposal and we continued to pose questions, many of which they were unable to answer. They did not even have a map of the site. From where we sat, Nexen’s people appeared uncomfortable with their own lack of clarity.
At the evening’s end Nexen departed, leaving our community none the wiser and with a heightened sense of unease. Nexen’s people, mostly from Calgary, I’m sure were struggling with the concept that some people actually value a clean, simple way of life over money and that we were not pleased by the great good fortune they thought they were bringing us.
Nexen, you have nothing to offer us that we don’t already have and what you offer does nothing but devalue what we hold dear.