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

Rock Creek family inspiration for new boxing event

Rock Creek will host some of the best provincial boxers at Rumble in Rock Creek

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Fruitvale man, 25, dies after falling from zipline in Thailand, reports say

Bangkok Post says man fell from Flight of the Gibbon zipline in Chiang Mai

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

Angel Flight East Kootenay will fly medical patients to Kelowna or Vancouver

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Family dog stolen from Kootenay backyard

RCMP appealing for information on pregnant Karelian bear dog missing from Elko, B.C.

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read