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

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

LNG Canada sponsors driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

VIDEO: Massive elk herd runs across Washington State highway

Elk have been making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Most Read