VICTORIA – The B.C. New Democrat Official Opposition caucus has formally registered its opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project with the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel.
“Under the Enbridge proposal, British Columbia would assume almost all the project’s risk, yet would see only a fraction of the benefits,” said New Democrat leader Adrian Dix. “By any measure, such a high-risk, low-return approach simply isn’t in B.C.’s interests.”
The letter outlines six key concerns regarding the Northern Gateway Project:
- Lifting the current tanker moratorium will put B.C.’s coastline at serious risk of devastating environmental and economic damage from oil spills;
- The pipeline will traverse remote, highly valued areas of B.C., crossing almost 800 streams, putting these valuable environments and species, such as salmon, at risk;
- First Nation communities would be most severely affected by an oil leak or spill. First Nations must be consulted effectively and be respected on a government-to-government level , as has been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada;
- Canadian consumers will see increased Canadian oil prices.
- Greenhouse gas emissions generated by NGP-related oil sands development will contribute to the costs of climate change;
- The NGP provides few long-term, sustainable economic benefits for B.C., and forgoes value-added economic activity involving upgrading and refining in Canada;
New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming, as well as Skeena MLA Robin Austin, Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson and North Coast MLA Gary Coons, are already participating in the Joint Review Panel’s process, either as interveners or presenters.
“B.C. New Democrats are taking a stand on the Enbridge pipeline because B.C.’s interests are not being adequately represented nor protected by the provincial government in the review process,” said Dix. “It is simply not good enough to state, as the premier has, that the government is going to wait for the process to unfold before taking a position. The time to take a position is now.”