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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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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

Kai Nagata: Is Northern Gateway B.C.’s National Energy Program?

Kai Nagata | Dogwood Initiative - June 20th 2015

Press Clipping: The courts may, or may not, stop construction of Northern Gateway, but as with the NEP, it’s political pressure on lawmakers that will prove decisive. There are early signs that a shift like this may already be afoot. Enbridge has become a liability for Conservative candidates in every B.C. riding touching salt water. Seat projections by ThreeHundredEight.com have the Conservatives losing seven of their 21 B.C. incumbents, while being shut out of six new ridings created by redistribution.

The Week to End Enbridge

Geraldine Thomas Flurer and John Orlowsky - June 18th 2015

Blog Post: One year after the federal government formally approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway tankers and pipelines project, with 209 conditions, opposition to the project has not wavered. From June 13-21, during the "Week to End Enbridge," people from all walks of life will again join together across BC to say "No" to this dangerous mega-project.

#BoycottTims trends on Twitter after coffee company pulls Enbridge ads

Feature

David Bateman | Toronto Star - June 5th 2015

Press Clipping: Thousands of angry Canadians got #BoycottTims trending No.1 across the country Thursday after Tim Hortons removed commercials for pipeline giant Enbridge from their screens. About 28,000 people signed a petition by a group of campaigners called SumOfUs demanding Tim Hortons drop the ads, accusing the company of “shilling” for the oil sands shipper, who are trying to advance a pipeline project from Alberta through British Columbia. Emma Pullman, senior SumOfUs campaigner, said while Tim Hortons has a special place in the hearts of Canadians, the Enbridge brand does not.

People power erodes Enbridge’s social license

Feature

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - June 4th 2015

Blog Post: Enbridge's latest ploy to promote the Northern Gateway pipeline was to team up with Canadian coffee icon Tim Horton's and force Timmy adherents to watch Enbridge's slick public relations ads about how great the tar sands are while waiting for their morning coffee (which is pretty rich coming from a company that deleted islands out of public safety videos to make its Northern Gateway tar sands and tanker project look more safe). But public pushback facilitated by Sum of Us put the kaibosk on Enbridge's plans when Tim Hortons pulled its advertising campaign with Enbridge. Thanks for all you do!

In the oil sands, a painful shift to a new normal

Feature

Jeff Lewis | Globe and Mail - May 18th 2015

Press Clipping: For years, Alberta’s deposits of tarry bitumen attracted billions in investment from the world’s oil giants. Those days are gone. Today, the sector is reeling amid a price shock that has sapped billions from corporate budgets and forced a dramatic rethink about the companies’ role in global energy markets. By one estimate, as much as 1.2 million barrels per day of future production capacity has been put on hold, only a fraction of which will be resurrected. This slimmer production outlook will ease demand for multibillion-dollar pipelines, potentially delaying projects such as Northern Gateway and Energy East well into next decade.

Closer than ever, but not there yet

Feature

Jason Mogus | Pull Together - May 7th 2015

Press Clipping: While it gives us hope to see the election of an Alberta Premier who recognizes Northern Gateway’s environmental impacts, respects First Nations opposition, and knows that BC citizens simply don’t want it punched through our province and coastlines, our work is not yet done. Unfortunately the Alberta government has no jurisdiction over this pipeline, and Northern Gateway’s chief proponents -- Enbridge itself and the Federal Government who lobbies for it -- are still hard at work. First Nations are still in court, fighting costly battles to stop it, and we are either standing with them or they are standing alone. Are you in.