Thursday, September 18, 2014
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A timeline of major events in the Northern Gateway application process

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Milestones in the Northern Gateway project:

March 6, 2002: Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB) announces preliminary plans for a pipeline linking the Alberta oil sands to the West Coast.

April 14, 2005: The company announces a deal with PetroChina Co. to transport oil from Alberta to the B.C. coast for export. The pipeline is expected to be in operation in 2010.

Nov. 1, 2006: With the National Energy Board process already underway, Enbridge announces it will delay Northern Gateway and focus on expanding pipelines to U.S. market.

March 23, 2010: Coastal First Nations declares a ban on oil supertankers from the Pacific North Coast. It is the first aboriginal ban on the project.

May 27, 2010: Enbridge files its application to the National Energy Board to build the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker terminal.

Sept. 9, 2010: The panel determines the company has submitted enough information for the project to proceed to public hearings.

Jan. 9, 2012: Then-natural resources minister Joe Oliver issues an open letter branding oil pipeline opponents "radicals" who are attempting to "hijack" the hearing process with funds from "foreign special interest groups."

Jan. 10, 2012: Joint review panel begins public hearings that travel throughout B.C. and Alberta over next 18 months.

March and April 2012: Federal government announces changes to Navigable Waters Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Changes include giving cabinet final decision on projects rather than regulators, restricting public participation in reviews and limiting scope of reviews.

May 2012: Enbridge is ridiculed for a sleek promotional video portraying Douglas Channel into Kitimat that excludes hundreds of islands that would lie in the path of tankers on their way to port.

July 11, 2012: The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board releases a damning report on a July 2010 spill of 3.3 million litres of diluted bitumen from an Enbridge pipeline into Kalamazoo River, likening the clean-up to Keystone Kops.

July 27, 2012: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her government will not support Northern Gateway or any other oil pipeline project unless it meets five conditions, including a "fair share'" of revenues for the province.

Sept. 26, 2012: A coalition of conservation groups files suit in Federal Court to force Ottawa to protect endangered and threatened species along the route of the proposed pipeline, including Pacific humpback whales.

March 18, 2013: Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announces first of several changes to marine safety rules for oil tankers. Several measures will also be announced for pipeline liability on land.

May 31, 2013: B.C. government lawyers tell the federal review panel that the province does not support the pipeline project as proposed.

June 24, 2013: Federal review hearings come to a close.

Nov. 5, 2013: The B.C. government capitulates on revenue-sharing, saying a share of Alberta's revenues from heavy oil pipelines is off the negotiating table.

Dec. 5, 2013: Vancouver lawyer Doug Eyford issues report saying Ottawa must build trust with First Nations.

Dec. 19, 2013: Federal joint review panel issues report recommending approval of Northern Gateway project, subject to 209 conditions.

Jan. 17, 2014: First of 10 applications filed in Federal Court and the Federal Appeal Court by environmental and First Nations groups seeking judicial review of panel recommendation to approve project.

Feb. 14, 2014: Federal Court finds federal environment and fisheries ministers broke the law by failing to enforce Species at Risk Act in a lawsuit brought in relation to pipeline route.

April 13, 2014: Residents of Kitimat, site of the proposed marine terminal, vote against Northern Gateway in non-binding municipal plebiscite with a vote of 58.4 per cent opposed and 41.6 per cent in favour.

April 22, 2014: Environment Canada announces status of Pacific humpback whales will be upgraded from "threatened" to "species of special concern."

May 13, 2014: Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announces new rules for marine spill response.

May 14, 2014: New Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford announces more new rules for pipeline safety.

May 27, 2014: Rickford announces Ottawa will open a major projects management office in B.C. to work with First Nations on energy projects.

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