Murray Minchin speaking for the Douglas Channel watch following the JRP’s ruling on the Northern Gateway project emphasizes the project is far from a done deal.
And he says the 209 conditions shouldn’t reassure anyone.
“It sounds impressive…but a lot of those conditions are, ‘well, if you’re going to change a valve station you have to give us 90 days,’ or different policy things. So there aren’t that many conditions that actually have meat on them.”
One condition that did grab his attention though was one that stipulated conditions for Enbridge or its contractors to hire temporary foreign workers.
“So much for jobs for
Canadians,” he said.
But the whole document provided some inconsistencies for him, including a portion in the report that claims affects to First Nations’ use of the land in the event of an oil spill would be temporary.
“How can they make the claim it’s just going to be a temporary thing and it will recover?” he asked.
“And they still haven’t done the studies yet.”
The DCW’s plans now will be them stepping back to allow First Nations groups to figure out their course of action, as First Nations have the best legal ground, said Minchin.
But they will continue to keep the issue alive and will continue to ask questions.
“People really appreciate the honest, straightforward questions we’ve been asking [Enbridge],” he said.
As for the District of Kitimat’s forthcoming survey in January, Minchin said he’ll be watching to make sure it’s done properly, in terms of asking informed questions.
“My first concern is the survey itself because I believe the last poll that Enbridge and it’s supporters were trotting around were actually sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce for B.C. and I think they may have only asked their membership,” he said. “On top of that they didn’t include anything on the marine aspect on marine spills or supertankers in the poll, so my concern is if they do a survey for the people of Kitimat they give crystal clear description of the probability of spills on land and also the dangers to supertankers in the Hecate Strait and that section from Kemano Sound to Whale Channel which is zig-zag turns..it’s a lot more dangerous than even the Douglas Channel is.”
But even with those concerns that it’s done properly, he hasn’t lost hope that the District of Kitimat Council may decide to take a position against the project in the future.
“I actually have hope for council to come around and take a position against this because it’s hardly any bang for the bucks for risks,” he said.
Meanwhile, DCW is hunkering down for the long haul.
“We are prepared for the long haul. We know this is going to be years and years down the road and we’re looking forward to it becoming a political issue during elections.”