209 conditions apply
Protest Rallies held across B.C opposing pipeline
Ottawa: Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, issued following statement on Tuesday outlining the Government of Canada’s decision after the Joint Review Panel’s independent review of the Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal to construct and operate two parallel pipelines to transport crude oil between Bruderheim, Alberta and Kitimat, British Columbia, and a marine terminal at the port of Kitimat.
“In December 2013, the Joint Review Panel found that construction and operation of the Northern Gateway Pipelines project is in the public interest, subject to 209 conditions being met by the proponent. After carefully reviewing the report, the Government accepts the independent Panel’s recommendation to impose 209 conditions on Northern Gateway Pipelines’ proposal.
“Today constitutes another step in the process. Moving forward, the proponent must demonstrate to the independent regulator, the NEB, how it will meet the 209 conditions. It will also have to apply for regulatory permits and authorizations from federal and provincial governments. In addition, consultations with Aboriginal communities are required under many of the 209 conditions that have been established and as part of the process for regulatory authorizations and permits. The proponent clearly has more work to do in order to fulfill the public commitment it has made to engage with Aboriginal groups and local communities along the route.”
The National Energy Board will now issue Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity. MP Jinny Sims vows that Federal NDP will continue to fight for British Columbia. She says, “Northern Gateway approval is wrong for BC, wrong for CANADA” “This decision sets a dangerous precedent for resource development in British Columbia,” said Jinny. “Conservatives have basically sent a message to Canadians that they aren’t interested in public opinions on the matter.”
The NDP argues that allowing supertankers into the Douglas Channel would result in chaos, and that a potential oil spill would be catastrophic for the economy of the entire region. As a result the Party has confirmed that in 2015, an NDP government would set aside approval for the project.
“This decision tramples all over environmental concerns, the province’s economic health, and the will of the people,” said Sims. “This decision is wrong for BC and for Canada.” There have been strong protests from many environmentalists, scientists, academics, business leaders and First Nations but Federal government has decided to go ahead with the proposal.
Alberta’s Premier Hancock considers decision on the Northern Gateway Pipeline as a step forward in accessing new markets for Canada’s energy resources. “Alberta will continue to support all safe and viable options to diversify and expand market access for Canada’s resources. This includes increasing current pipeline capacity, developing new pipelines and moving product by rail. Getting product to market is vital to addressing the increased demand as well as a key factor in our country’s economic prosperity.
BC’s Minister of Environment, Mary Polak has stated that “Decision from the federal government on the Northern Gateway is not a surprise, given their regulatory responsibilities and the recommendation from the Joint Review Panel.
“However, our position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline is unchanged. Northern Gateway still has a lot of work to do to meet British Columbia’s five conditions. “So far, this project has only met B.C.’s first condition – the successful completion of the federal environmental review process. “There are four more conditions set by B.C. that have not been met. Those conditions are:
- World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments;
- World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines;
- Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project; and
- British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy-oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers.
Our government has consistently stated that all new and expanded heavy oil pipeline proposals must meet these five conditions before British Columbia will consider supporting them.”
On the other hand, the Council of Canadians opposes the Northern Gateway pipeline and stands in solidarity with the many First Nations and frontline communities opposed to this destructive project. The Harper cabinet approved the pipeline, but Indigenous, environmental and citizens’ organizations in B.C. are vowing to do everything they can to stop the project. Hundreds of people rallied in downtown Vancouver against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, just hours after it received conditional federal approval.
“Stopping the Northern Gateway pipeline is one of the most important fights we have right now,” said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.
Photo by Benjamin