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

Economic inequality, immigration still need work in Victoria: Prosperity index

Housing, environmental health factors show improvements in 2019: report

Victoria City Councillor Laurel Collins wins federal NDP nomination

Collins will run for Victoria in the upcoming federal election

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Long weekend starts with series of crashes

The long weekend traffic pile up is starting with a series of… Continue reading

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read