Enbridge not impressing Channel Watch

For all Enbridge’s assurances about its proposed Northern Gateway Project, Dieter Wagner remains unconvinced.

For all Enbridge’s assurances about its proposed Northern Gateway Project, Dieter Wagner remains unconvinced.

The chairman of the local group Douglas Channel Watch said, “They make nothing but promises which most often they are totally incapable of keeping.”

Saying the company’s sole focus was pushing the project through, he added, “In the end (the promises) will fall by the wayside.”

Wagner recalled Enbridge having pointed to the availability of an international clean-up fund of $1.3 billion that could be called upon in the event of a spill.

However, he noted the cost of cleaning up after the Exxon Valdez disaster was $3.5 billion, meaning Canadian taxpayers would be on the hook for most of the clean-up costs when the inevitable spill occured.

On the touted safety of double-hulled tankers, he said it is slowly coming out that they are not “the be all and end all”.

Wagner pointed to corrosion problems between the hulls and, worse, the ships are designed to “flex incredibly” which in turn means “they have an extremely high (metal) fatigue factor.”

He also pointed out that Caamano Sound has many granite reefs and if a tanker runs aground on one of those, it won’t matter how many hulls it has, “it’ll open up like a can opener.”

Chuckling at Chris Anderson’s contention that simulations have shown the Douglas Channel to be navigable by big tankers (Sentinel, February 9), Wagner said, “We have three 90 degree turns and anything is possible.”

While he agreed there is no gain without some form of risk, Wagner was adamant that with this project the risk was too great.

If after 22 years they are still finding crude oil one foot below the surface of gravel beaches in the Prince William Sound – site of the Exxon Valdez spill – he asked what would happen to the halibut, crab and the like when the tar-like bitumen from a tanker sank to the bottom of the Douglas Channel.

And provided his own answer – “It will be there for 100 years.”

Just Posted

Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

The Smithers mayor won on the first ballot with 446 of 797 votes

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Kelowna company wins contract for LNG Canada project in Kitimat

SK Form & Finish will work with equivalent of 4,000 fully loaded concrete trucks

U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminium scrapped

Joint effort by industry, government and unions secures deal

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read