Enbridge wants to build Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to B.C. coast
By Laura Payton, CBC News
The federal government has agreed to let Enbridge build its Northern Gateway pipeline, subject to 209 conditions recommended by the National Energy Board and further talks with aboriginal communities.
Enbridge wants to build the pipeline from Bruderheim, Alta., to Kitimat, B.C.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called it "folly" and "pure madness" to think anyone can put supertankers in British Columbia's Douglas Channel, and he said Enbridge has more commitments to fulfil.
"One would have thought to put a bit of a fig leaf on it, they could have come up with 210 [conditions]," Mulcair said.
Mulcair said an NDP government would reverse the decision to accept the recommendations of the National Energy Board.
"None of this is going to be built before the 2015 election, and we will set this decision aside," he said.
He also warned of protests against the pipeline.
"We're talking about a severe threat to social order, social peace, not only in British Columbia, but in Canada, if Mr. Harper continues to ignore science, continues to ignore First Nations," Mulcair said.
Conservative MPs 'hiding'
Mulcair said Conservative MPs from British Columbia are "hiding under their desks right now" because the pipeline is already an election issue in the province.
The federal approval is one more step in a long line of permits necessary for Enbridge to get access to the Pacific coast to ship crude to Asia.
The federal regulatory process began in May 2010 when Enbridge submitted its application to the National Energy Board.
Earlier Tuesday, the NDP and Liberals seized on the drawbacks to approving the pipeline, devoting much of question period to the Northern Gateway project.
Mulcair listed the opponents of the pipeline.
"Municipalities? Kitimat. Terrace. Prince Rupert. Smithers. They all say no," he said.
"Over 130 First Nations across B.C.? They all say no. Three-hundred scientists? They all say no. The prime minister endorsed this pipeline publicly three years ago. No matter what evidence, how many people speak out, how many people stand up against him, he keeps pushing this project."
'Public and scientific process'
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Mulcair was trying to distract from what he called the NDP's opposition to resource development.
"The process we have in our government, in terms of environmental evaluations, we establish independent expert panels that follow a public and scientific process. When we've received the report from that process, we will make a decision obviously based on the facts in the not too distant future," Harper said.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said a tanker spill "would be catastrophic for B.C.'s pristine north coast and its economy."
"A large spill would cost $10 billion to clean up and would wipe out over 4,000 full-time B.C. jobs. Will the prime minister do the right thing and say no to the Northern Gateway pipeline?" Trudeau said.
Harper referred again to the process set up to evaluate the pipeline's risks and benefits.
"We know very well the leader of the Liberal Party and his party's deep hostility to Canada's energy sector," Harper said.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has the power to grant or deny dozens of other permits for its construction. Her government has set out five conditions she expects to be met before allowing the Northern Gateway pipeline to be built across British Columbia.