Opponents of Northern Gateway said Friday that the war against the pipeline will now be waged against the federal government, which will decide the project’s fate after a federal review panel recommended approval.
A coalition of environmental groups gathered in Vancouver the day after the National Energy Board released its report and recommendations, to say that Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB) may have had the support of the panel, but not the public.
Gerald Amos, chairman of the Friends of Wild Salmon Coalition of northwestern British Columbia, said the federal government made changes to regulatory rules during the review process that affected the outcome and gave cabinet the final say.
“In the bottom of my heart I’m convinced now, and I think a lot of people share this feeling, that our government and its processes no longer belong to the people. They belong to the big oil companies, who have bought and paid for the changes that have been made very recently,” said Amos, a former chief of the Haisla Nation near Kitimat, B.C., where the tanker terminal for the project would be built.
There is a federal election coming in 2015, Amos said, and critics of the project will reach out in the coming months to urge people to “reclaim” their government.
Amos was flanked by representatives of Forest Ethics Advocacy, the Fort St. James Sustainability Coalition, the Living Oceans Society and the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union as he reacted to the panel report.