Government has strict guidelines for pipeline

Re: Pipeline protestors disappointed MLA a no-show for rally (News, Oct. 26)

Re: Pipeline protestors disappointed MLA a no-show for rally (News, Oct. 26)

I regret that I was not able to be in Victoria to speak with protestors; however, I had a previously-scheduled meeting with First Nations representatives in Vancouver.

News reporter Tim Collins was informed by constituency office staff that access to the building was restricted by building management on the advice of the Saanich police and fire departments.

My staff only permitted access to my constituency office to those with scheduled appointments.

This decision was based on a previous Dogwood Initiative-organized protest at which protesters forced their way into the office and threw live chickens at staff. In addition, my staff advised Mr. Collins they would consider meeting with protesters to listen to their concerns if so requested.  No such request was made.

My duties as minister require that I cannot always be in my constituency office, but I do my best to be available to all constituents who want to meet with me, and that I or my staff respond to all constituent correspondence I receive.

I do regularly receive e-mails, letters, and have face-to-face meetings in my constituency office to discuss concerns about provincial issues with constituents.

Premier Christy Clark has outlined five conditions that the proposed pipeline must meet in order for our government to consider supporting the project.

These include legal requirements regarding aboriginal and treaty rights, benefits versus risk, and addressing environmental concerns. If any of these conditions are not met, our government will not support the pipeline.

Ida Chong

MLA, Oak Bay-Gordon Head