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Government creates roundtable on the environment and economy

By Contributor
March 30th, 2014

A roundtable of representatives from communities, industry, labour, First Nations and the environmental sector has been established to discuss ways to find the right balance between economic development and environmental protection, Environment Minister Mary Polak announced.

In June of 2013, Premier Christy Clark tasked Polak with the creation of the roundtable in her mandate letter to the minister.

“Our government believes strong economic growth is compatible with environmental sustainability, which is why the Premier wanted me to bring a variety of voices to the table,” said Environment Minister Mary Polak.

“I’m confident that the Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy will help our government put in place the best policies to guide sustainable resource development in B.C.”

The roundtable will be an opportunity for stakeholder groups to work with the B.C. government on environmental policy priorities to strike a balance between sustainable resource development and the protection of human health and the environment.

“The labour movement in B.C. recognizes that building the kind of province we want will require us to have a comprehensive plan that provides good, family-supporting jobs, improves the environment by reducing carbon emissions and increases equity in our society,” said Irene Lanzinger, secretary-treasurer, B.C. Federation of Labour.

The roundtable will be chaired by Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, while the topics for discussion will be set by the Minister of Environment in consultation with roundtable members. Meetings will be scheduled every three to four months. Summaries of discussions will be posted on the Ministry of Environment website.

“As a former mayor of Dawson Creek and current MLA for Peace River South, I’ve seen first-hand that it’s possible to have sustainable development of oil and gas,” Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier.

“I believe the roundtable is going to be a key forum for frank discussions on the priorities that are important to British Columbians.”

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