Northern Gateway Quashed
Prince George, B.C. – The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned the Government’s approval of the Northern Gateway project that would see a twin pipeline move bitumen from Bruderheim Alberta to a B.C. port, and condensate flow back to Alberta.
“It’s a day of celebration for First Nations” says Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled the Government failed in its duty to consult with First Nations. “Certainly a good decision on our behalf” says Teegee, “The Court got the decision right, you can’t bypass (the) consulation process and simply fast track any of these major projects. It’s too risky you can’t bypass a community’s decision.”
Numerous First Nations along the proposed pipeline route opposed the project over lack of consultation and concerns about the threat a pipeline failure would have on the environment.
Enbridge has not yet released comment on the decision.
There has been talk that with the Alberta companies needing to get their product to market, that shipments would shift from a pipeline scenario to rail transportation. Tribal Chief Teegee says that opens a whole other world of discussion on the transportation of dangerous goods, not just through First Nations territories, but all communities along rail lines “That never really has been a discussion, and it should be. It’s not only bitumen, but other toxic substances , I think the whole discussion of what’s being transported through this country needs to happen, and I really think that should be a concern for many communities.”
Teegee is hoping the National Energy Board will now reject Enbridge’s request to have a 3 year extension to meet the conditions outlined in the initial approval.. Enbridge had made the request because the initial approval was mired in a legal battle “I think it’s like we’re almost beating a dead project.”