West Coast Environmental Law

May 08, 2013 09:00 ET

Pipeline Opponents Face Off With New Enbridge CEO

Opposition remains strong as federal review winds down

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - A delegation of workers, concerned citizens, landowners, First Nations, and environmental groups from across BC and Alberta are bringing their message directly to new CEO, Al Monaco, and Enbridge shareholders at the company's annual general meeting today: it is time to back away from the proposed Northern Gateway project.

"Enbridge has been outright lying about the so-called benefits to the Canadian economy. The Northern Gateway project will only benefits big, foreign-owned oil companies, not Canadian workers and industry," said Don Boucher, of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. "Northern Gateway sucks away jobs and economic growth from Canada and ships benefits overseas."

The federal review panel will be hearing final arguments later this month and move into deliberations, with a decision expected on December 30th.

"I've put my life on hold for two and a half years to participate in the environmental assessment process for the Enbridge pipelines and tankers," said Kandace Kerr, a landowner from Fort St. James, a community along the proposed pipeline route. "It's worth it if it will prevent Northern Gateway from ever being built in BC."

During the BC election campaign, politicians have been competing with each other for the strongest stance on proposed pipeline projects.

"Do Enbridge investors know what financial risks the Northern Gateway project poses to the company?" said Chief Na'Moks, Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief of the Tsayu (Beaver) Clan. "Oil and gas pipelines pose too much risk to our livelihoods, and this is a non-negotiable stance. Enbridge can expect long legal battles if the company insists on pursuing this project."

On Monday, the National Energy Board found that Enbridge did not have legally required back up power for emergency shut-off valves for most of the company's pump stations across the country.

"Time and again, Enbridge has demonstrated to communities that the company can't be trusted," said Gerald Amos, chair of Friends of Wild Salmon. "An oil spill on BC's coast or into any of the 700 rivers and streams that the Northern Gateway line crosses, would be devastating to fisheries across the province."

Delegation members added their voices to those of the Yinka Dene Alliance, who in an open letter today urged Enbridge to find an "exit strategy" from the beleaguered Northern Gateway project.

To read a list of bios of the members of the delegation, visit: http://wcel.org/biographies-citizen's-delegation-enbridge-annual-shareholders-meeting.

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    Brenda Belak
    West Coast Environmental Law
    604-537-0680

    Karen Tam Wu
    ForestEthics Advocacy
    778-846-5647