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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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- 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

Keystone XL pipeline’s economic argument may expire: experts

Zi-Ann Lum | Huffington Post Canada - December 16th 2014

Press Clipping: The juncture of falling oil prices colliding with TransCanada’s push for its US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline may undermine the argument that the project makes economic sense, according to analysts. Sandy Fielden, RBN Energy's director of energy analytics, told the L.A. Times the impact of falling prices may rattle support for Keystone XL. “The economics of this project are becoming increasingly borderline,” she said. But TransCanada isn’t showing any signs it’s fazed by the dropping prices.

Enbridge Northern Gateway’s Year in Review: Opposition shows strength in numbers

December 16th 2014

Visual: This week, groups are marking the anniversary of the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to approve Enbridge’s controversial pipeline and tanker project with a retrospective index. “One year after the hearings concluded, the opposition to Enbridge’s pipeline and tankers is as strong as ever,” said Gerald Amos of the Friends of Wild Salmon. “Enbridge has failed to win social licence for the project or meet any of its 209 conditions, and British Columbians and First Nations are pulling together to stop the project in the courts.”

Enbridge bringing opponents together

Fred Sam and Brenda Gouglas | Prince George Citizen - December 12th 2014

Blog Post: re's a surprising statement that you'll sometimes hear at rallies against the Enbridge Northern Gateway project: "I want to thank Enbridge for bringing us together." The comment may be tongue-in-cheek, but it has some truth to it. The strong opposition to Northern Gateway is a common ground that is helping First Nations and non-First Nations people forge new links with each other.

BC First Nation chiefs: We’ll do what needs to be done to make sure Northern Gateway is never built

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - December 10th 2014

Blog Post: On the fourth anniversary of the Save the Fraser Declaration, an Indigenous law supported by more than 100 First Nations to ban tar sands pipelines and tankers from their territories, the Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) is sending Alberta Premier Jim Prentice a map and timeline of opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, to make sure his government fully understands the opposition the project faces.

Janet Holder quits Northern Gateway pipeline

Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - November 14th 2014

Press Clipping: Amid growing speculation that Enbridge's beleagured Northern Gateway project is dead, the pipeline's executive vice president said she will resign, effective Dec.31. She was the front-and-centre face of the project in all the pipeline's TV ads and promotions. "I don't blame her for resigning,” said First Nations leader Art Sterritt. "Obviously the project can't go ahead."

B.C. First Nations crowdfund more than $200K to oppose Enbridge Northern Gateway in just four months


Carol Linnitt | DeSmog Canada - November 14th 2014

Press Clipping: Some of the strongest legal challenges against the federally approved Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline come from B.C.’s First Nations and supporters from across B.C. are digging into their pockets to help ensure those are a success. Pull Together, a grassroots campaign to raise funds for the legal challenges of six First Nations, has been so successful organizers are bumping their goal from $250,000 up to $300,000 by December 31.

Call of distress: The Simushir and the threat of tankers on British Columbia’s northern coast

Nikki Skuce | ForestEthics Advocacy - October 28th 2014

Blog Post: As news unfolded about the floundering Russian Russian container ship Simushir, which lost power in high seas off the west coast, the fear was palpable in the voices of the people of Haida Gwaii on the north coast of British Columbia. They were given a warning to “expect the worse,” that a ship loaded with dirty bunker fuel and diesel carrying dangerous goods could hit the coast at Gowgaia Bay within three to four hours. And help might not arrive for 20 hours.

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.