Anti-pipeline protest at B.C. legislature

Ottawa approves Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline

B.C. Environment Minister says project still has to meet four of Premier Christy Clark's five conditions to receive permits



The federal Conservative government has approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline project, despite widespread opposition in B.C. that includes the provincial government, First Nations, environmental organizations and residents of the intended oil tanker port of Kitimat.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford signalled the government’s approval in a low-key statement Tuesday that endorsed the 209 conditions imposed by a federal review. Rickford noted that the proponent still needs to consult with aboriginal communities and secure provincial permits.

The project doesn’t yet meet Premier Christy Clark’s five conditions for new heavy oil pipelines, which include world leading marine and land spill protections, resolution of aboriginal concerns and a fair share of benefits for B.C.

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said the decision means the project meets the first of five conditions required by the province, a successful federal review.

“We recognize the benefits that the Northern Gateway project may bring, but they will not be at the expense of our environment,” Polak said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has emphasized it is in the national interest to open a new pipeline route to the Pacific Ocean to carry Alberta oil sands bitumen and break the Canadian oil industry’s dependence on U.S. markets.

But a continuing battle over the pipeline plan is expected in the courts, and potentially on the land, where civil disobedience has already been threatened.

Opposition demands to reject the project dominated question period in the House of Commons Tuesday. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair called the review panel process “a sham,” and Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen warned that opposition in B.C. may upset plans to develop liquefied natural gas exports in the province.

The decision by the Harper cabinet follows last December’s ruling by a federal review panel that the $6.8-billion project should proceed, subject to 209 conditions.

That followed Enbridge’s earlier pledges to improve the project’s safety with thicker steel and other measures along the 1,177-kilometre route.

The twin pipelines would carry 525,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from the oil sands west to Kitimat and send condensate to act as a thinning agent east to Alberta.

 

MORE ON NORTHERN GATEWAYInteractive timeline (full screen)Project chronologyFacts and figures

PREVIOUSLY REPORTEDB.C. spells out five pipeline conditions (July 2012)Province rejects Northern Gateway plan as inadequate (May 2013)Review panel recommends pipeline proceed (Dec 2013)Critics say Enbridge will hit wall of opposition in B.C. (Dec 2013)Kitmat residents vote 58 % against (April 2014)Scientists rap Enbridge pipeline review (June 2014)

Just Posted

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read