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Wilkins: Canada cannot stop LNG terminals
Date: Friday, October 28 2005
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October 27, 2005

Wilkins: Canada cannot stop LNG terminals

By CHRIS MORRIS

FREDERICTON (CP) - Canadian opponents of proposed liquefied natural gas terminals in Maine say U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins is wrong when he says Ottawa could do little to stop the controversial projects.

Reaction was swift Thursday after Wilkins told a Moncton, N.B., newspaper that if the three LNG terminals proposed for the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay, near New Brunswick, clear U.S. regulatory hurdles, they can operate.

Greg Thompson, the Conservative MP whose New Brunswick riding includes communities near the proposed terminals, said Canada simply has to block access to LNG supertankers through the Canadian waters leading to the Maine terminals.

"There is something Canada can do because the ships would have to travel through internal Canadian waters and if the government of Canada says 'no' to the transport of those tankers through those waters, the project would not go ahead," Thompson said.

"The U.S. ambassador is wrong."


Three separate LNG terminals have been proposed on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay.

But the prospect of volatile, LNG supertankers navigating the treacherous Canadian waters leading to the terminal sites has stirred outrage in southwestern New Brunswick communities bordering Maine.

Opponents claim the terminals and their supertanker traffic would create an environmental hazard and threaten local tourism.

"The tourist economy, the fishing economy, the environment - all of that would go," said Larry Lack, a resident of St. Andrews, N.B., which is near the proposed LNG sites.

The federal Liberal government has been under growing pressure to say it will not allow LNG tankers through the Canadian passage leading to Passamaquoddy Bay, but government officials will say only that the matter is being studied.

Opposition Conservatives are asking Prime Minister Paul Martin to do what former prime minister Pierre Trudeau did in the 1970s when he blocked ocean-going tanker traffic to a proposed Maine oil refinery.

"We have history on our side," Thompson said.

"It was the right decision then and it would be the right decision now and I'm expecting the government of Canada to do that."

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