The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
ORDERS OF THE DAY — Continued
No. 37 — Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — 1.30 p.m.
1 Ms. Huntington to ask the Hon. Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing the following questions:—
Unconventional Gas – Impacts on Public Health and Safety
1. Can hydraulic fracturing of gas-bearing shale formations result in groundwater and surface water contamination – waters that may also be drinking water sources? What can be done to reduce such outcomes?
2. In jurisdictions that use multi-well hydraulic fracturing techniques is there evidence of uncontrolled gas leaks? What are the consequences and can the risk of such outcomes be reduced?
3. At what proximity to human settlement may hydraulically fractured gas wells pose an unnecessary risk?
4. What risks are there when contaminants move between hydraulically fractured gas wells in events known as “communications” or “kicks”? At what point may gas wells exceed densities that place human health and public safety at unnecessary risk?
5. Do the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations pose a public health and safety risk? Should they be publicly disclosed?
6. What are the health impacts associated with chronic exposures to low levels of sweet gas and sour gas? What must the province do to eliminate fugitive emissions and reduced flaring to an absolute minimum?
7. What plans does the Oil and Gas Commission have to work with public health officials and the local communities to ensure that industry developments are located and staged in a manner that poses the least risk to human populations?
8. What plans are there to project forward the number of unconventional gas wells that may be drilled in the province and to ensure that the cumulative development of wells does not endanger the health and safety of the general public and First Nations communities or the environment?
Unconventional Gas – Impacts on Water and Land
9. How many unconventional gas wells are projected in British Columbia?
10. What will the associated water demand be?
11. What water conservation policies are presently in place?
12. What regulations and market measures, such as water pricing, might be sound public policy choices to maximize water conservation by the industry?
13. What role does the Oil and Gas Commission play in assigning water rights to the gas industry? What role do provincial water stewardship officials with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations play in assigning such rights? How do both agencies cooperate to ensure that: all water assignments are known, the actual water used by the industry is tracked, all wastewater produced by the industry is accounted for and its disposal methods and disposal sites are approved?
14. What cumulative impact assessments are there to ensure that industry water use is sustainable and poses no threat to watersheds? (Areas in northeast B.C. have already been identified by the provincial Forest Practices Board as being heavily impacted by a combination of oil and gas industry, forestry and cattle-grazing activities.)
15. Will the Water Act Modernization process ensure sustainable water use in the shale gas industry?
16. Under what circumstances may industry water applications be subject to an environmental assessment process? Should water applications exceeding a certain threshold be subject to such assessments?
17. Can unconventional gas developments be staged to reduce environmental impacts on lands and waters?
2 Mr. B. Simpson to ask the Hon. Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing the following questions:
1. When the greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing, processing and later combusting unconventional gas are considered, how “green” is this energy source compared to other fossil fuels?
2. In the face of historic low prices for natural gas, should B.C. be accelerating the extraction of this resource through provincial subsidies to the industry?
3. If unconventional gas extraction continues in British Columbia should:
• a fair market price be placed on water utilized for this purpose?
• the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing be more regulated and publicly reported?
• the structure of the energy industry regulator – the Oil and Gas Commission – be changed to better address and monitor the industry’s cumulative impacts on public health and safety, water and land resources, and climate?
• the regulations governing the sector be more prescriptive to ensure public health and the environment are protected?
4. Are government, the OGC, and industry meeting their legal requirements to consult with First Nations and the spirit and intent of the New Relationship with respect to joint decision-making and revenue sharing?
Unconventional Gas – Impacts on Climate and Energy Security
5. What are the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with the extraction and processing of unconventional gas?
6. What may be the additional greenhouse gas emissions associated with more advanced treatment or conversion of natural gas to products such as liquid fuels (diesel, naphtha and propane) or liquid natural gas?
7. Can British Columbia meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets when anticipated unconventional gas development is fully accounted for? If this is not achievable at present, what changes to the way development occurs, and the scale of development, would have to happen to enable B.C. to meet its targets? What public policy approaches could B.C. employ to allow those changes to happen?
8. From a domestic energy security perspective, how much natural gas should B.C. be exporting and over what time period?
9. What revenue streams should British Columbians and First Nations reasonably expect to see from increased unconventional gas production in the province?
3 Mr. Coons to ask the Hon. Minister of Environment the following questions:—
1. In 2006, the Minister of Environment committed to ensuring that the territory around the Queen of the North wreck would return to its pristine condition by promising long-term environmental monitoring of the upwelling around the wreck and the testing of harvestable shellfish and seaweed. Why has this government not fulfilled that promise? What are the government’s plans to fulfil this promise?
2. Ever since the sinking of the Queen of the North, just minutes away from Hartley Bay, there have been concerns with the upwelling of fuel, asbestos, lead, mercury and other toxins in Gitga’at territory. What is the government doing to address local concerns about safe harvestable foods?
3. BC Ferries promised to help restore the territory around the Queen of the North wreck and was paying a yearly contribution to assist with monitoring and testing of marine life in the area surrounding the Queen of the North wreckage site until it chose to no longer honour that agreement in March 2011. What does the Minister know about BC Ferries’ decision to not honour that agreement? What does the government plan to do to ensure that BC Ferries does not renege on their financial and moral obligations?
4. Since BC Ferries and the government decided not to honour their promise to monitor the area around the Queen of the North wreckage site and return the area to its pristine condition, the Gitga’at Nation have undertaken the cost of monitoring the waters around the Queen of the North wreckage site. What is the government’s plan to compensate the Gitga’at Nation for these costs?
5. Has the government done any assessment or monitoring of the environmental impact of the Queen of the North wreckage site in the last year? If so, what were the results of that assessment?
6. What is the status of the government’s clean-up of the area around the Queen of the North wreckage site?
7. What is the government’s plan to manage any upwelling of diesel around the Queen of the North wreckage site and the impact it will have on the Gitga’at Nation’s harvesting grounds?
4 Mr. Fraser to ask the Hon. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations the following questions: —
1. Why did the Liberal government issue a cutting permit on District Lot 33 near Nanoose on Vancouver Island despite being aware that District Lot 33 is mature Coastal Douglas Fir (the most endangered ecosystem in Canada) and home to the most endangered species by area in the Province.
2. Why did the Liberal government ignore the 2006 Madrone Report and subsequent Forest Practices Board reports which confirmed the ecological diversity and sensitivity of District Lot 33 and that harvesting “is not consistent with a vision of overall ecosystem integrity”?
3. The Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation began logging activities on District Lot 33 putting them at odds with residents and local governments and raising the potential for local conflict. Will the Minister of Natural Resource Operations use his authority to end this conflict, to correct a very flawed and damaging decision to issue permit to log District Lot 33, to set aside District Lot 33 as required to protect biologic communities considered globally critically imperiled and red-listed, and to compensate the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation for costs and any loss of revenue?
5 Ms. Kwan to ask the Hon. Minister of Social Development the following questions: —
1. Is the Minister aware that PEERS is the only organization that provides support to sex trade workers that want to exit the sex industry?
2. Does the Minister agree that PEERS Vancouver Resource Society is an important organization for sex workers looking to exit the sex trade?
3. Does the Minister know that PEERS Vancouver is a small organization that offers a highly specialized but necessary service to a sector of our community?
4. Will the Minister acknowledge that it is not the case that PEERS did not choose to participate as the Minister suggests, but rather, the redesign procurement eliminated PEERS’ participation as the process was aimed at large agencies?
5. Will the Minister acknowledge that while everyone wants to see increased efficiencies in our system, we must not do it at the expense of losing the very services to those that depend on them because if you do, it’s not called being efficient, you are just letting people fall through the cracks?
6. Will the Minister recognize that the big box approach to employment services for complex populations does not work and ensure that PEERS continue to have the necessary funds to help sex workers exit the sex trade?
7. Is the Minister aware that over the last 10 years, PEERS Vancouver Resource Society has helped hundreds of clients exit the sex trade and transition into healthier and safer lifestyles?
8. Is the Minister aware that their public education, prevention and peer support programming has facilitated long term life changes for people involved in the sex trade?
9. Given that we are in the middle of the missing and murdered women’s inquiry and now this government is forcing PEERS to close its doors, can the Minister explain how this will help survival sex trade workers exit the sex industry?
10. Is the Minister aware that Peers is not alone in facing imminent closure and that Pathways Information Centre, based in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, a key community hub where local residents can connect with key services such as job related education, life skills counselling, and job search support is also facing imminent closure?
11. Is the Minister aware that many of the residents in the downtown eastside face a multitude of barriers such as poverty, mental and physical health, undiagnosed learning disabilities, addiction, lack of training and homelessness, and that Pathways’ service-delivery model recognizes these barriers and is able to offer services in a timely and accessible manner for its members while taking into consideration each individual’s unique needs and abilities?
12. Is the Minister aware that traditional models of employment services do not work for many of the residents in the DTES community and that under this one size fits all model, Pathways will close its door to its 14,000 members and some 200-250 people who use the service daily.
13. Does the Minister agree that this will not help the Premier’s jobs agenda and will the Minister correct this grave mistake and keep organizations like PEERS and Pathways open so that people with complex challenges do not fall through the cracks?
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