Open letter to the Yukon’s Oil and Gas Consultation panel:
The Whitehorse chapter of the Council of Canadians is grateful for the opportunity provided by the government seeking public input on proposed amendments to the Yukon Oil and Gas Act.
In our submission we seek clarity specifically in the third point of the definition of pipeline in section 1:
(a) a pipeline located entirely within Yukon (as defined in the Yukon Act) for the transportation of
(i) oil or gas or both, with or without any other commingled substance,
(ii) any product obtained from oil or gas by processing or otherwise, with or without any other commingled substance, or
*(iii) any other substance intended to be used for a purpose related to an oil and gas activity*
We want to know if a pipeline could be used to transport water.
In the Yukon, what policies apply to the transport of water, and what restrictions apply?
Who, in the Yukon, has the right to transport water via pipeline? How is the value of water calculated?
Our position is that we need a national water policy that protects Canada’s water from bulk exports and privatization, because:
• The free market doesn’t guarantee access to water;
• Bulk exports could open the floodgates to trade challenges;
• Canada’s water supply is limited;
• Public water is safer, cleaner and more affordable; and
• Water is essential for people and nature.
In the absence of a national water policy we are seeing extractive industries (mining and energy) subsidized by governments allowing industry free access to Canada’s fresh water. As one example only, Schedule 2 changes to the federal Fisheries Act allows mining companies to use fresh water lakes for their tailings from operation. Fish Lake, southwest of Williams Lake, BC, is the proposed site of a copper and gold mine that would essentially destroy the lake.
The Whitehorse chapter of the Council of Canadians is concerned the current wording of the definition of pipeline in the Yukon Oil and Gas Act could allow for the transport of water.
Please answer our questions with respect to this free resource vital to all life.
Connie Dublenko, Council of Canadians, Whitehorse Chapter