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Enbridge Northern Gateway

Despite more than 200 issues with Enbridge's application to build its Northern Gateway pipeline, and despite widespread opposition to this controversial conduit for dirty darty sands oil, the Harper government approved Enbridge's project proposal in June, 2014. But First Nations and environmental and community groups have sworn it will never be built because of the excessive risks to the economic and ecological well-being along the pipeline route and coastal B.C.

If built, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline would run west from the Alberta tar sands to the port of Kitimat, British Columbia. The pipeline would cross 800 critical salmon-bearing streams and terminate in the heart of the world-renowned Great Bear Rainforest, where hundreds of super tankers larger than the Exxon Valdez would transport heavy tar sands oil through the world's fourth most dangerous waterway.

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Overview:
- New twin pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.
Key Problems:
- Ignores First Nations territorial rights
- Crosses over 800 salmon streams
- Ends in heart of Great Bear Rainforest
- 400 super tankers through world's fourth most dangerous waterway
Current Status:
- First Nations launch court challenges to Harper government's approval of the project in June, 2014

Northern Gateway has sparked fierce and unprecedented opposition from citizens, First Nations and communities of all political stripes, because it poses such unacceptable risks to the environment and local economies of B.C.

According to Enbridge’s own calculations, there is a 23 per cent chance of at least one major super tanker spill during the 50-year lifespan of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. And a recent study from Simon Fraser University using internationally accepted scenarios calculated the likihood of nearly 800 pipeline spills over 50 years. Major spills would be almost impossible to clean up, would put local and regional economies and water sources at risk, and threaten endangered salmon populations that depend on clean water to spawn.

Like the Keystone XL and other new pipelines, Northern Gateway is also the key part of the oil industry's plans to unlock the rapid expansion of the tar sands, locking us into a further 50+ years of fossil fuel dependence and leading directly to catastrophic climate change.

Opposition against Northern Gateway is unprecedented. More than 130 B.C. First Nations have formed an unbroken wall of opposition to Enbridge's pipeline plans, a stance that will make it difficult for the project to proceed given that most B.C. First Nations have constitutionally protected rights over resource projects that cross their unceded lands. Eight First Nations from Haida Gwaii to Yinka Dene territory west of Prince George have set in motion legal proceedings that have the potential to stop or significantly delay the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project.

More than 140 federal politicians and 36 provincial politicians oppose it, as do twenty local governments including Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Smithers, and the districts of Fort St. James, Skeena-Queen Charlotte and Kitimat-Stikine, who have all passed formal resolutions opposing Northern Gateway. In 2010 and 2012, the Union of BC Municipalities itself also passed major resolutions in opposition to pipelines and oil tankers.

Thousands of B.C. and Canadian citizens have publicly opposed Northern Gateway in ways and numbers not seen in the environmental movement in decades. Hundreds of protests have taken place in almost every community in the province, and polling consistently shows that between 60 and 80 per cent of British Columbians of all political leanings oppose the project.

The Northern Gateway Pipeline has no business risking all that makes British Columbia such a special place. That’s why so many people are working to make sure it never gets built.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Updates & Resources

Cities rising: B.C. municipal leaders demand a bigger say over oil pipelines

Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - September 29th 2014

Press Clipping: At the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler this week, one visible sign of rising local government activism against oil pipeline projects from Alberta was on municipal leaders’ wrists: a simple blue band. Duncan city councillor Michelle Bell wore one. She, along with leaders of other heavyweight communities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Victoria – supported UBCM motions aimed squarely against Kinder Morgan and the National Energy Board.

Northern Gateway pipeline through B.C. unlikely to start up by 2018

September 5th 2014

Press Clipping: The president of the Northern Gateway pipeline says it's unlikely the project will start up in 2018 as the company seeks to win over B.C. First Nations groups, many of which remain adamantly opposed to the $7.9-billion project. "We have stated that the earliest in-service date was 2018. That's quickly evaporating because we need to have this time to meet with people," John Carruthers told a Calgary business audience on Thursday.

All hair, no cattle: Why Trudeau’s pipeline policy makes no sense

Thomas J. Duck | iPolitics - September 5th 2014

Press Clipping: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau recently accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of being “all hat, no cattle” on oil pipelines. He’s right about Mr. Harper’s pipeline policy — but wrong about his own. Mr. Trudeau says he supports expanding Canada’s oil pipeline network in a manner “that fits into a long-term strategy of a sustainable environment”. But you can’t square that circle: Expanding the pipeline network would lead to an increase in oil production — which can only worsen the impacts of climate change.

‘There will be no pipeline’

Feature

GORDON HOEKSTRA | Vancouver Sun - August 18th 2014

Press Clipping: “The Dakelh people avoided conflict because the final answer in a conflict, it’s gruesome,” says Peter Erickson, a hereditary chief who holds the same title of Ts’oh Dai as chief Kwah did more than 200 years ago. “You look at the conflicts around the world — do we have to go to that point?” says Erickson. “At the same time, we have to ensure this land is here for our grandkids. … This project, on such a scale, cannot be allowed to come into our territory.”

Inspirational B.C. teen crusades against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline

Will Johnson | Nelson Star - July 31st 2014

Press Clipping: Sixteen-year-old Keegan Kemp had an epiphany last summer. “I was thinking to myself ‘here I am in this body, living this life, and what do I have to show for it?’” the 16-year-old told the Star during a recent interview. “We all have a duty, you know? To do something.” Kemp’s particular passion has led him to become the community organizer for the local chapter of the Dogwood Initiative to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

Q&A: Why First Nations are stopping Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline

Feature

Elizabeth Douglass | InsideClimate News - July 31st 2014

Press Clipping: British Columbia's First Nations have fought the proposed Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline that would cross their land for years, and they have no intention of letting up just because the federal government recently approved it. They've ignored the wishes of Canadian Prime Minister Harper, shrugged off oil industry promises of local jobs, and rejected offers of part ownership in what could be a lucrative and long-lived project. How come?

National Energy Board orders Enbridge to stop work on Manitoba pipeline

July 28th 2014

Press Clipping: The National Energy Board has ordered Enbridge Inc. to stop work along its Line 3 oil pipeline in Manitoba after an inspection earlier this month revealed numerous environmental and safety concerns. Enbridge announced plans earlier this year to replace the pipeline in its entirety — a $7.5 billion undertaking that would be the largest project in the company's history. The NEB says it won't allow work to resume until it's satisfied the problems have been fixed by Enbridge.

The West wants out

Feature

Will Horter | Toronto Star - July 28th 2014

Blog Post: Stephen Harper’s handling of B.C. mirrors the conditions that created the Reform movement two decades ago. As the next federal election draws closer, conditions below the surface should remind political observers of another seismic event a generation ago. The central question for British Columbians, as it was for Albertans in the 1980s and ’90s, is this: Who gets to decide what’s in our best interest — Ottawa or the people who live here?