Anti-pipeline protest at B.C. legislature

Ottawa approves Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline

B.C. Environment Minister says project still has to meet four of Premier Christy Clark's five conditions to receive permits



The federal Conservative government has approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline project, despite widespread opposition in B.C. that includes the provincial government, First Nations, environmental organizations and residents of the intended oil tanker port of Kitimat.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford signalled the government’s approval in a low-key statement Tuesday that endorsed the 209 conditions imposed by a federal review. Rickford noted that the proponent still needs to consult with aboriginal communities and secure provincial permits.

The project doesn’t yet meet Premier Christy Clark’s five conditions for new heavy oil pipelines, which include world leading marine and land spill protections, resolution of aboriginal concerns and a fair share of benefits for B.C.

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said the decision means the project meets the first of five conditions required by the province, a successful federal review.

“We recognize the benefits that the Northern Gateway project may bring, but they will not be at the expense of our environment,” Polak said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has emphasized it is in the national interest to open a new pipeline route to the Pacific Ocean to carry Alberta oil sands bitumen and break the Canadian oil industry’s dependence on U.S. markets.

But a continuing battle over the pipeline plan is expected in the courts, and potentially on the land, where civil disobedience has already been threatened.

Opposition demands to reject the project dominated question period in the House of Commons Tuesday. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair called the review panel process “a sham,” and Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen warned that opposition in B.C. may upset plans to develop liquefied natural gas exports in the province.

The decision by the Harper cabinet follows last December’s ruling by a federal review panel that the $6.8-billion project should proceed, subject to 209 conditions.

That followed Enbridge’s earlier pledges to improve the project’s safety with thicker steel and other measures along the 1,177-kilometre route.

The twin pipelines would carry 525,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from the oil sands west to Kitimat and send condensate to act as a thinning agent east to Alberta.

 

MORE ON NORTHERN GATEWAYInteractive timeline (full screen)Project chronologyFacts and figures

PREVIOUSLY REPORTEDB.C. spells out five pipeline conditions (July 2012)Province rejects Northern Gateway plan as inadequate (May 2013)Review panel recommends pipeline proceed (Dec 2013)Critics say Enbridge will hit wall of opposition in B.C. (Dec 2013)Kitmat residents vote 58 % against (April 2014)Scientists rap Enbridge pipeline review (June 2014)

Just Posted

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top news stories:… Continue reading

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Teepee raising ceremony invites Invermere Chief to Metis Nation Columbia River Society

Some people might notice a new teepee standing tall outside of the… Continue reading

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read