Whistler's request for Alberta oilsands to cover climate change costs is outraged


Whistler joined more B.C. Municipalities calling on the oil and gas industry to pay the budgetary costs for climate change related events and the reaction was not friendly.

Mayor Jack Crompton addressed the Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. in a letter dated 15 November. (CNRL) based in Calgary, and asked the company to cover costs paid by taxpayers to deal with floods, droughts and extreme weather conditions for which Crompton claims directly caused by the CNRL.

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"As a city with less than 15,000 inhabitants, this is an important cost, together with the costs associated with the impact on winter and summer sports tourism," the letter reads.

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"Your industry is aware that its products have a negative impact on the climate, but continue to develop new resources."

Calgary Energy Adviser Calgary Terry Etam said in a statement to Global News that the industry's workers and advocates are outraged by the letters, and feel that they are unfairly targeted, as people also make a major contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

"Difficulties in understanding how a tourist attraction that not only uses but encourages the use of millions of gallons of fuel and enormous emissions can attribute blame on those emissions to fuel-providing entities," he said.

At least one company, PrairieSky Royalty Ltd., died from the annual CIBC Whistler Institutional Investment Conference, which will be held in January due to comments by the mayor, according to the internal email address Global News.

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Mayor Whistler

In response to the growing backlog, Crompton posted a written and video statement saying that it does not mean that someone offends or that in Whistler feel unwanted companies or industry. He also acknowledged Etam's claim that the inhabitants and tourists of Whistler also contribute to fossil fuel emissions.

"Our goal was not to ignore our role in climate change, but to encourage change and action on climate change," the mayor said.

"We firmly believe that all levels of government, industry and individuals are responsible for rescuing and costing the impact of climate change."

Social media users also drew attention to the fact that Crompton has been named as the leader of Ridebooker, which provides ground transportation services throughout North America.

"Demanding responsibility"

The request is part of an ongoing campaign with the environmental law of the West Coast, which has seen more B.C. The municipalities write to companies from fossil fuels that demand similar compensation, including Victoria, Saanich, Squamish and Castlegar.

The website of the law firm says that the campaign is intended for "demanding responsibilities".

CNRL is the only Canadian company with the aim of the existing letters. Other companies that received claims include Chevron, based in California and British Petroleum in London.

Some letters responded to the answers. Shell sent a request to Town of View Royal in February, while companies representing Chevron replied to a letter sent by the Highlands district.

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Both responses were refused to allocate funds to cover all the municipal costs requested in the letters, but stated that companies had committed themselves to tackling climate change and highlighted their specific climate strategies.

On December 10, West Vancouver County published an open letter to all fossil fuel companies that require the same compensation.

The Council also sent a letter to Prime Minister John Horgan, who urged the provincial government to identify the legal implications for the costs of climate change and to respond to these same companies.

Andrew Gage, attorneys with environmental protection legislation on the West Coast, said local governments were required to claim compensation for the costs incurred by their taxpayers.

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"Municipalities are in the first area dealing with climate change," Gage said. "They are the ones who must protect us against influences, build higher seas, save fire resources, and these are those that will have to face the effects if a fire that burns a community occurs."

CNRL comment requests are unanswered.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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