03/25/2013 09:15 EDT | Updated 05/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Safe movement of hazardous materials is the focus of B.C. symposium

VANCOUVER - Environment Minister Terry Lake says B.C. is working to ensure resource development and environmental protection move forward at the same pace.

Lake is delivering the opening remarks at a symposium in Vancouver, intended to address the growing movement of hazardous materials through the province.

He says B.C. wants to create top notch systems to safeguard against any spills.

But if spills do occur, Lake says the province wants the strategies, equipment and manpower in place to handle any environmental emergency.

He says it's also vital that polluters know the cost of any cleanup must not be passed to taxpayers.

Industry, environmental groups and First Nations will be represented at the three day symposium. (CHNL)