As of Friday, May 26 B.C. has recommended rejecting the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in its submission to the federal environmental panel.
“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake in a press release. “Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.”
“Northern Gateway has said that they would provide effective spill response in all cases. However, they have presented little evidence as to how they will respond,” Lake said on Friday. “For that reason, our government cannot support the issuance of a certificate for the pipeline as it was presented to the Joint Review Panel.”
MLA John Rustad agrees with Lake. “Enbridge and what its put forward in its current form has not met the five conditions yet and my hope is that [they] have an opportunity to do some work to meet these conditions.”
NDP Leader Adrian Dix said that, although welcome news, the Liberal decision is “a case of too little, too late.”
In a press release on Friday, May 31, Dix said “The B.C. Liberals signed away decision-making authority to Ottawa in 2010 and that has not changed. We know Ottawa continues to support the project, so saying ‘no’ today is a toothless gesture and the Liberals know it.”
This doesn’t affect other pipeline projects such as the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion or the Kitimat Clean project, those will be judged on their own merits and on the province’s five key conditions.
Those conditions include oil spill prevention and response on both land and water, completion of the environmental review process, addressing Aboriginal rights and treaties, and that B.C. receive a fair share of the profits.
Nathan Cullen, MP for Skeena–Bulkley Valley, submitted his final arguments to the Joint Review Panel on Friday as well.
“If this project proceeds,” said Cullen in a media release. “It’s an indication that this abusive process by the government and these reckless proposals by Enbridge can become the new norm. It tells us that this can and will happen anywhere in Canada – no matter the impact on the environment or the communities, or what kind of reputation the company has.”
British Columbia will be presenting oral final arguments to the Joint Review Panel when hearings recommence in Terrace on June 17, based on B.C.’s final written submission.