Monday, July 19, 2010

The new $17-million protected area (or $7 billion)

Back in February, the throne speech announced a ban on mining and oil and gas exploration in the East Kootenay Flathead Valley.
That was a big deal for people living across the border in Montana. The Flathead flows into the state and is an important river. The prospect of mining or gas development alarmed the Americans. Barack Obama even got involved.
It also meant some companies would get the boot after spending money to develop claims in the valley.
Then mines minister Blair Lekstrom said then that he didn't know if the provincial government would owe the companies compensation.
But Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was much clearer. The B.C. government was on the hook for a big compensation expense, he said, and the U.S. government should help.
Gordon Campbell has now made things clearer. The two companies most affected should get something like $17 million, the premier told the Flathead Beacon, a good Montana weekly.
Schweitzer praised Campbell as the key play in the agreement, "walking away from $7 billion" worth of economic activity in order to protect the Flathead.


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DPL said...

Gordo and Co. seem to rush in where angles fear to tread, and often get stung. Birght business operatives, they most certainly are not. Too bad Gordon didn't get around to telling the BC folks paying the bill about the 17 millions.