Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Northern Gateway investments ’will sit there and rot,’ says B.C. First Nations chief

CP

CALGARY — Opponents of Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline say the more than $6.5-billion project is a bad investment.

As in previous years, a delegation of First Nations leaders, environmental activists and B.C. community representatives will be speaking out against the project at Enbridge’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

John Ridsdale, hereditary chief of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern B.C., said his community will never support the project and investor money will “sit there and rot.”

Art Sterritt, executive director of Coastal First Nations, said he’s attending Enbridge’s meeting for the first time this year to tell chief executive Al Monaco the company is wasting its money on Northern Gateway.

A joint review panel said in December the project should be approved, subject to 209 conditions, and the federal cabinet is set to decide in a matter of weeks.

But legal challenges being mounted by project opponents mean the path forward for Northern Gateway is far from clear.

First Nations in most of B.C. have not signed treaties with the Crown, meaning they maintain right and title.

There are a number of court cases in which B.C. First Nations have been successful in the past, Ridsdale said.

“We’ve had the longest winning streak in Canadian jurisprudence, in the history of Canada. And yet here we go again,” he said.

“They still haven’t listened to us. We’ve constantly said the answer is still ‘no’ and we give the reasoning behind it. So we go to court.”

Earlier Wednesday, Enbridge said it earned $390 million in its latest quarter, up from $250 million a year ago.

The pipeline company said the profit amounted to 47 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of 31 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $10.52 billion, up from $7.9 billion in the first three months of 2013.

Excluding one-time items, including unrealized derivative fair value gains and losses, Enbridge said it earned an adjusted profit of $492 million or 60 cents per share.

That compared with an adjusted profit of $488 million or 62 cents per share a year ago when the company had fewer shares outstanding.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 57 cents per share, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Monaco said the company is on track to be within its full-year adjusted earnings-per-share guidance range of $1.84 to $2.04 per share.

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