Fernie council continues to take bold steps to assert the interest of the community it represents, with respect to coalbed methane development. The rest of the province, and other jurisdictions in North America in which coalbed methane activity is being promoted, are watching with keen interest.
In March, Fernie asked the provincial government to postpone the auction of a large set of parcels in the Crowsnest coalfield.
Tonight, May 10, Fernie council passed two more potent resolutions:
Resolutions adopted May 10, 2004 by Fernie City Council:
That the City of Fernie endorses the Flathead Basin Commission’s May 3, 2004 resolution calling for a comprehensive impact assessment by the International Joint Commission in advance of any further action to extract coalbed methane or coal from the Flathead River watershed of British Columbia.
Adopted by a vote of 6 yeas, one nay.
Whereas the Flathead Basin Commission of Montana has requested that the United States government seek the cooperation of the Government of Canada in authorizing the International Joint Commission to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the potential impact of coalbed methane exploitation proposed for the Flathead River watershed; and
Whereas, the waters of the Elk River ultimately flow into the United States and are therefore equally subject to the provisions of the Boundary Waters Treaty which governs the International Joint Commission;
The City of Fernie asks that the Government Canada request the inclusion of the Elk River watershed in any assessment of the impact of Rocky Mountain coalbed methane exploitation that the International Joint Commission may undertake under the terms of the Boundary Waters Treaty between Canada and the United States.
Adopted unanimously by a vote of 7-0.