A quick piece for and against Enbridge Northern Gateway

Following the JRP's report in favour of Northern Gateway, here's the Sentinel's editor's pro and con piece on the pipeline.

We thought we’d go ahead and just post two opinions, one supporting the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal and one not supporting the project. Enjoy the argument.

Enbridge, yay!

Just like with natural gas, Canada has abundant oil resources on the other side of the Rockies and it’s an economic loss to only allow ourselves to deal with the United States as our customers. Canada, simply, needs more capacity.

But even look at it at the ground level. The vast number of construction workers needed to build a pipeline will mean job opportunities for many.

And pipelines are arguably far safer with today’s construction and assembly standards than in years past. Simply put, it’s basically a gimme that Northern Gateway will be more reliable than other, older pipes.

Then there’s the ongoing taxes and value that the pipeline will provide to the country. The nation and province will benefit financially from the construction for sure, and that’s money that will pay for the government services and operations that we all enjoy.

Opposing the project is basically turning our noses up at $1.2 billion over the next 30 years.

And with 209 conditions to follow, it’s in writing that it’s going to have to be built right.

We need to be open to this project.

Enbridge, nay!

Now wait a minute, $1.2 billion over 30 years?

That represents only a fraction of the yearly B.C. budget, which this year alone is $44 billion.

Much good that $1.2 billion will give us over the course of 30 years.

And what about the fact that it just seems people don’t want this pipeline. Surveys and polls have shown that more people in B.C. are against the pipeline than are in favour.

Not to mention studies of Canada’s coasts and pipeline routes, showing the immense problems that could come from tanker traffic and spills.

Some don’t think Canada is even prepared for a major spill, and the pipeline and the tankers will be going through a number of ecosystems. One wrong move and we might not have a fishery.

And are jobs really as bountiful as the claims? It’ll only be a small amount of permanent jobs which are needed to run the marine terminal in Kitimat, and the same for the pipeline, once it’s done you won’t need many people to manage it in person. That leaves the control centre in Calgary as the primary place of employment regarding the pipeline itself directly.

The benefits to the province are arguably, essentially, non-existent.

Cameron Orr