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Enbridge Northern Gateway

"S.H.A.M.E on Enbridge" Photo credit: Kevin Konnyu

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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- 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

Groups applaud Trudeau’s leadership on banning tanker traffic, stopping Northern Gateway pipeline


Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - November 14th 2015

Blog Post: A broad coalition of northerners, environmental groups and First Nations today applauded Prime Minister Trudeau for his act of leadership in directing Transport Minister Marc Garneau to formalize an oil tanker ban on the North Coast of British Columbia, effectively stopping the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. “A permanent, legislated oil tanker ban is the best way to protect our wild salmon economy and bring hope for a new path forward that respects communities and ecosystems,” said Des Nobles, president of Local 37, UFAWU-Unifor.

Eight incredible days for the climate

Jason Mogus | 100% Possible - November 13th 2015

Blog Post: I don’t know about you but after so many years of what felt a lot like banging our heads against the wall, the last eight days have been a completely mind-blowing turnaround towards climate action! Here are just a few highlights from Canada and around the world from the last week.

Coastal First Nations support Liberal government’s moratorium on West Coast oil tanker traffic

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - November 5th 2015

Blog Post: The Coastal First Nations (CFN) support the Liberal government’s plan to put a moratorium on oil tanker traffic on BC’s north coast. The CFN also would like the Liberal government to keep its commitment to cancel Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline. We believe its strategy paper “Protecting Our Oceans” aligns well with CFN’s objectives, particularly the commitment to “formalize the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast, including the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound, to ensure that ecologically sensitive areas and local economies are protected from the potentially devastating impacts of a spill.”

Is the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline finally dead?

Emma Gilchrist | DeSmog Canada - October 21st 2015

Press Clipping: In May 2014, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa that if he became prime minister “the Northern Gateway Pipeline will not happen.” With Monday’s majority win by Trudeau, Art Sterritt — who recently retire from his role with Coastal First Nations — says he is “elated” and “Northern Gateway is now dead.” “I know they’re going to live up to the commitments that they’ve made. I have absolutely no doubt about that,” Sterritt said, while taking a break from carving a totem pole. “Tears of joy will be flowing in Gitga’at.”

Judges reserve decision on Northern Gateway pipeline approval


Geordon Omand | The Globe and Mail - October 9th 2015

Press Clipping: The fate of the Northern Gateway pipeline project is now in the hands of a trio of Federal Appeal Court judges who reserved their decision on whether to uphold or quash the government’s approval of the controversial project. Over six days of legal arguments in Vancouver, the court heard the government didn’t get aboriginal consent or consider the impact on the environment when it approved the project, while proponents claimed a decision to overturn the pipeline approval would kill the project. A collection of First Nations, environmental groups and a labour union launched the appeal, asserting that the panel tasked with reviewing the pipeline proposal didn’t adequately consult with aboriginal groups nor sufficiently consider the environmental impact.

How Harper triggered a First Nations legal war over Northern Gateway


Mychaylo Prystupa | National Observer - October 6th 2015

Press Clipping: Eight B.C. First Nations are in federal court to launch a legal attack on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The coalition hopes to overturn Ottawa’s conditional approval of the project, which would deliver Alberta crude to B.C.’s north coast. The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip pledged to go to jail if necessary to stop the pipeline, and said the federal Conservative government has “completely demonized and vilified Indigenous peoples of this country and has declared all of these [energy] projects in the national interest.”

Environmental groups in federal appeal court to oppose Northern Gateway pipeline

Geordon Omand | Globe and Mail - October 6th 2015

Press Clipping: A federal panel tasked with reviewing the Northern Gateway pipeline project failed to take into account the serious threat posed by oil spills and increased tanker traffic to humpback whales, says an environmental lawyer. ForestEthics Advocacy, Living Oceans Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and B.C. Nature are part of a Federal Court of Appeal challenge arguing the government erred in granting approval to Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB) for the controversial, $7-billion megaproject.

Northern Gateway pipeline court challenge is now underway


October 6th 2015

Press Clipping: Environmental groups say the Northern Gateway pipeline project would pose a serious threat to humpback whales and, if allowed, would set a precedent for future projects. ForestEthics Advocacy, Living Oceans Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and BC Nature are part of a Federal Court of Appeal challenge arguing the government erred in granting approval for the controversial, $7.5-billion megaproject.