Thursday , January 21 2021

Whistler wants Albertan O & G Company to pay for climate change

More than a dozen B.C. Municipalities have sent similar letters to fossil fuel companies since 2017 and ask manufacturers to help protect against climate change through funding.


Whistler Municipality, B.C., invites the oil and gas industry to pay its "fair share" by absorbing budget costs in connection with climate change.

In a letter addressed to Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. dated November 15, Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton said that the city's taxpayers "pay 100 percent of the cost" in connection with climate change such as "droughts, floods and extreme weather."

He asks CNRL to pay for "the cost of climate change experienced by Whistler," including the municipalities "" $ 1.4 million investment in community protection for fire protection "in 2018.

"As a city with a population of less than 15,000 people, it is a significant price to bear with the costs of winter and summer sports tourism," he said in the letter.

The request is part of a campaign by the West Coast Environmental Law and the Union of British Columbia municipalities "demanding accountability from fossil fuel companies", reads the campaign website.

More than a dozen B.C. Municipalities dating back to 2017 have sent similar letters to energy companies, including an open letter from the District of West Vancouver.

CNRL was the only Canadian company that received the Whistler letter, but similar requests for funding from the resort were sent to 19 international manufacturers, including British Petroleum, ExxonMobil, ConoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and Devon Energy.

A draft letter was written by the resort's outgoing advice before a municipal election on 20 October.

WHISTLER, B.C.: 30 JULY 2009 – A campfire broke out in Whistler, B.C. Resort, after a lightning strike on July 30, 2009. HANDOUT PHOTO: Ashley Ouellette and Christina Thomas / G.S. Photo & Electronics.

Ashley Ouellette & Christina Tho /

GS Photo & Electronics

Crompton said that he acknowledges Whistler "distributes much" from tourism dollars from the fossil fuel industry, saying Whistler does not ignore its own role in climate change, but rather encouraging "action on climate change."

"Our goal was to raise awareness of climate change. In no way was our goal to make anyone feel unwelcome in Whistler," he said in a statement.

Tristan Goodman, president of Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, said he understood the questions raised about the climate change, but added to designate companies over a global problem does not seem to be logical.

He said that the letters are likely to riot people who depend on the energy sector and even encouraged travelers to "reassess their activities and participation in resorts" who have signed the campaign.

"We must remember that most of Whistler's customers actually run or come (using) fossil fuels … They might want to consider their customer base as they move forward," Goodman said.

Prasad Panda, UCP Energy Shadow Minister and MLA for Calgary Foothills, said some agreements on financing climate change in the private sector "are between companies and municipalities."

"If they mutually agree … beneficial to these societies, and corporate balances are strong enough to support what's between them," said Panda.

CNRL refused to comment on the letter when it reached Wednesday night.

– With files from Chris Varcoe

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On Twitter: @RCRumbolt

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