NDP leader Adrian Dix was in Kitimat Monday morning to speak with Kitimat City Council and First Nations leaders. All parties involved met for breakfast Monday morning at The Chalet restaurant.
Dix hoped to get further insight from communities that would be most affected by the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project. A number of other topics concerning the community were touched on as well.
“We talked about the economic development that’s happening here, the explosion of the community, the lack of hospitalisation, the lack of schooling, and there will probably be eventually a lack of housing and those types of things,” said Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan.
“The meeting went well, it was very cordial.”
Dix began his northern trek last weekend, arriving in Terrace Sunday and Kitimat the following day. After Monday’s sit down breakfast Dix planned to board a boat and head out on the Douglas Channel. The journey would follow the path of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline. starting the route tankers will potentially take out of the Kitimat.
“I’m going to go to Klemtu and Bella Bella to spend time in the region to understand the impact that Enbridge Northern Gateway would have on our coast. It’s the reason why we’ve had a moratorium on supertankers on that part of the coast.”
Dix says the trip isn’t about politics, but about getting a first-hand look at the effects a project like Enbridge would have.
“We want to draw attention to the real issues around Enbridge Northern Gateway, not the premier’s latest position, but our environment, our economy, our ecology.”
For those who say the pipeline would bring jobs and a badly-needed economic boost to the area, Dix argues some very important industries — such as fishing and tourism — would suffer economically if the $5.5 billion deal passes.
“We’re talking here about the Great Bear Rainforest. It has a very important appeal for tourism,” believes Dix. “People have been living off fishing for a generation. That’s been put at risk.”
Dix also plans to mobilize people across the province against the pipeline and correct what he says is the “misconception that people in the region are against economic development.”
“In fact the coastal First Nations and many other First Nations support the development of the LNG project out of Kitimat because the risks are very, very different.”
The LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) project is led by Shell Canada. The company plans to open a plant in Kitimat that will produce 12 million tonnes of natural gas a year.