The mayor of Port McNeill is making no apologies for his letter of support — written on town letterhead — of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
“I was just speaking on behalf of myself,” said Gerry Furney.
“I pretty well send everything on town letterhead because I am the mayor of Port McNeill, for whatever that matters.”
Several people contacted the Gazette to express their dismay at the thought of such a letter going to the joint-review panel from the mayor.
But Furney said he sent the letter as a private citizen and in no way did he intend to express all of Port McNeill’s thoughts on the matter of the project that intends to construct twin pipelines running from Bruderheim, Alta., to the new marine terminal in Kitimat, B.C. where crude oil will be transported by sea-going tankers to Asian markets “I don’t have private note paper I send stuff out on — I am the mayor and have to stand up and be counted,” said Furney.
Besides, said the long-serving mayor, it’s impossible for him to send anything as a private citizen.
“Once you’re elected as mayor, you’re no longer a private citizen.”
Here’s the letter:
February 8, 2012
Secretary to the Joint Review Panel
Joint Review Panel-Enbridge Northern Gateway Project 444 Seventh Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta
Please accept this letter in support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
Our country is sparsely populated and an expensive place to service.
We have a right to develop and sell our resources to the highest bidder so that we can afford to meet the needs of our people.
There are two options for us in developing our petroleum resources. One is to export by pipeline into other areas of North America.
The second option is to export by ship to customers in areas other than North America.
It makes sense to develop and maintain both options.
For this reason I strongly support the Northern Gateway Project.
The bogey man of tanker traffic, being used by some opponents, is ridiculous. Tankers have been traversing our coastline for many years without incident.
Gerry Furney, Mayor.