DAWSON CREEK, B.C. - Energy-giant EnCana (TSX:ECA) has three months to start shutting down its oil and gas operations in northeastern B.C. or a recent series of bombings will "get a lot worse," says a letter from the purported bomber sent to the Dawson Creek Daily News.
The newspaper reports that the two-page hand-written letter promises there will be no attacks until that deadline runs out.
"You have three months to convince the residents here and the general public that you will commit to this program, meaning that all action against you will cease for three months from the time of this note," says the letter.
"We can all have a summer vacation including your security personnel and the RCMP, who have not helped you to date anyway."
The newspaper received the letter on Wednesday and forwarded it to the RCMP.
The RCMP has confirmed the newspaper had handed over the letter soon after receiving it, but has said very little about its contents or its authenticity.
The letter calls the first six explosions, which began last October and included two this month, as "minor" and "fully controlled."
It says the attacks are meant to send a message.
"To let you know that you are indeed vulnerable, can be rendered helpless despite your megafunds, your political influence, craftiness and deceit in which you trusted," it says.
It's the second letter to surface connected to the bombings.
The first, received last October just before the first set of three explosions, called EnCana and other companies "terrorists" and demanded they shut down immediately.
The latest letter doesn't specify the exact area EnCana must leave, but does mention the company's "fancy gas plant" at nearby Kelly Lake.
The RCMP's anti-terrorism unit has been investigating the bombings, but so far no one has been charged.
The letter references recent complaints by locals of heavy-handed tactics by RCMP investigators. At least two residents have hired a lawyer with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, demanding police stop what they call harassment and intimidation.
The note demands police allow residents to talk about their concerns with oil and gas development "unmolested by any further interrogations and/or investigations so that they can speak their minds without reprisal."
The letter ends: "Don't delay.
After the bombings began, some locals admitted they had concerns about the region's booming oilpatch, despite EnCana's insistence that it has a good relationship with residents in the area.
All of British Columbia's 4,000 producing oil and gas wells are located in the northeastern part of the province, and many of those are concentrated around the Dawson Creek area, east of the Rockies.
In 1996, the industry was worth about $370 million in revenues to the province. By 2006, that figure had jumped to $2.5 billion, mostly related to natural gas projects.