Cullen comments draw scathing response

Nathan Cullen’s comments about Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel (Sentinel, April 6) have drawn the ire of Colin Kinsley.

Nathan Cullen’s comments about Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel (Sentinel, April 6) have drawn the ire of Colin Kinsley.

Kinsley is chairman of the Northern Gateway Alliance, a group he says “wants to see this through the regulatory review process…because of the tremendous impact it has on British Columbia and Canada.”

He said it was “inexcusable and disrespectful” of Cullen to refer to someone like Daniel as ‘insane’ and to suggest he had ‘inhaled too many fumes’.

“(Cullen) obviously doesn’t know the man, doesn’t know the company,” Kinsley said, pointing out Enbridge had spent $150 million so far on making sure the project is done right.

He was particularly upset that the MP representing a region he said had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation “is against everything”. “Has he ever supported the creation of a job?” he asked.

As for Cullen’s suggestion oil sands bitumen exported to the US is, after refining, exported, Kinsley’s response was, “Is he dreaming? The United States doesn’t export any oil, they import it from Venezuela, Iran, Iraq.” And Canada sends 99.5 per cent of its crude to the US.

“He doesn’t even bother to do his homework,” Kinsley fumed.

He pointed out that Canadian bitumen upgraders and conventional crude refineries supplied all of Canada’s needs so there was no domestic demand beyond that.

“I don’t expect him, being an NDPer, to understand market forces – it doesn’t usually enter their vocabulary.”

Kinsley said what really disturbs him most is Cullen talks about exporting jobs when there are tens of thousands of Canadians working in some capacity in the oil sands patch including in development, processing, distribution, research and development, “you name it”.

Recalling discussions with Cullen in Ottawa, Kinsley conceded he had told Cullen “at some point in time maybe we could do something better with (bitumen) and maybe we could do it at tide water.”

However, without a pipeline to tide water, there would never be an upgrader or a refinery in Kitimat.

Kinsley said the Northern Gateway project would result in 60,000 person years of employment, $270 billion in Canadian gross domestic product and government revenues in the tens of billions of dollars – including local government and especially Kitimat.

“This could be done safely, but it is up to the (Joint Review Panel) to prove it to all of us that it can be,” he maintained.

Kinsley pointed out there hadn’t been a spill in a Canadian regulated pipeline for more than 20 years because the steel used is made differently, the construction process is different as are the inspection regimes.

As for those who raise the spectre of the Exxon Valdez, he said, “the world changed for tankers after that. There hasn’t been an incident such as the Exxon Valdez since it happened.”

Kinsley said oil companies wanted their product delivered to their customers and the transportation companies couldn’t afford “to lose a drop”.

He also pointed out that he had fished the Douglas Channel for the past 30 years for salmon, halibut, red snappers, prawns and crab. “I wouldn’t be involved in a project that’s going to endanger that.”

Returning to Cullen, Kinsley said, “It’s easy to say ‘no’. You really don’t have to use science, you don’t have to find an alternative solution, you just have to say ‘no’.”

And had a question for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley incumbent: “Tell me, how many jobs have you brought to the region? What have you done?”


Kinsley added, “I can’t come up with one.”