I read with some interest your interview with Colin Kinsley (Sentinel, April 20) and the attempt Enbridge made to use a front group to defend the merits of their proposed pipeline and supertanker project.
The fact that Mr. Kinsley personally draws a salary from Enbridge, that his group is entirely funded by the company, and that he recently ran for the Conservative nomination in Prince George is not mentioned at all in this piece though all are obviously relevant to his expressed opinions.
Aside from all this, let’s take a minute to look through the arguments he presented to the people who actually live and work in this region.
Outrageously, Mr. Kingsley says there hasn’t been a spill in Canada in 20 years. Except, of course, for 3.1 million litres spilled in 1999 (Saskatchewan), 4 million in 1994 (Manitoba), 3.8 million in 2001 (Alberta) – all from Enbridge pipelines.
And the 803 pipeline failures according to the Alberta government that have happened every year on average for the past 15 years.
Of course, brand new pipelines tend not to break, but according to a National Energy Board review (the same NEB that Mr. Kinsley has faith in) “the average time from the pipeline installation to the time of rupture for the time-dependent rupture mechanisms is twenty-eight years.”
We have a $140 million dollar wild salmon economy in the Northwest that would be put at serious risk of a significant spill.
We have supported the LNG projects and are pushing for RTA to finish its upgrade to help get Kitimat back on its feet.
There are more than $16 billion in new developments proposed in the Northwest and these are projects that won’t destroy our rivers and ocean if they go wrong.
Promoting sustainable jobs for the northwest has been my number one mandate since being elected and we’ve been able to secure more federal dollars to support job growth than at any other time in our history.
Even my Conservative opponent has said that the pipeline should only be contemplated if the “benefits far, far, far outweigh the risks”.
In this election, this leaves only the Rhinoceros Party as a supporter of the project.
The political consensus here in the North is that the few jobs offered by Enbridge can’t possibly make up for the risks to our economy and environment.
Lastly, Enbridge and Mr. Kinsley claim “there hasn’t been an incident such as Exxon Valdez since it happened”.
Once again ignoring the reality of the dozens of major tanker accidents in recent years such as the Prestige (2002) which dumped 11.6 million litres, the Sea Empress (1996) which spilled 84 million litres.
Double-hulled tankers are also not immune: the Bunga Kelana spilled 3 million litres of crude off Singapore in 2010 and the Eagle Otome spilled 1.7 million litres off the coast of Texas in 2009.
We need a fair debate and one free of character assassinations.
Enbridge owes Kitimat and the Northwest at least that measure of respect.
Hiding and misleading the facts on oil spills from pipelines and supertankers won’t win over the public and ultimately poses an unacceptable risk to our coast and way of life.
NDP Incumbent for