Alberta election “nail in the coffin” for Northern Gateway

  • May. 26, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen says if the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project wasn’t dead before the NDP sweep of the Alberta provincial election, it is now.NDP leader Rachel Notley led her party to an historic victory in this week’s provincial election, overturning decades of Progressive Conservative rule, and promising her majority government would bring change to Alberta.Part of that change is her stance on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which as proposed would transport heavy crude from Alberta to a terminal in Kitimat where it would then be shipped to eastern markets.Ms. Notley knocked out PC premier Jim Prentice, who resigned not only the party leadership but also his seat.Before becoming leader of the PCs, Mr. Prentice had been tasked with shoring up support for Northern Gateway. The controversial pipeline was approved by the federal government nearly a year ago, subject to 209 conditions, and the company has been working towards meeting those conditions.”Rachel Notley was elected in with a strong majority government on a mandate to not pursue the Northern Gateway pipeline,” said Cullen. “If this were such an important pipeline and people had great hopes and expectations that would have been very difficult for her to win.”Enbridge Northern Gateway released a statement to media yesterday saying that the company looks forward to sitting down with the new Alberta government to provide an update on the project and their partnerships with First Nations in Alberta and B.C.”We share a vision with the new Alberta government for world leading environmental protections for energy projects,” read the statement. “We believe that our vision for this project will earn the support of the new government and we look forward to this dialogue.”Mr. Cullen said he doesn’t know what else it will take for the company to give up its pipeline plans.”I think now that you have a progressive government in Edmonton that wants to see companies working with First Nations and wants to see more value added projects Â… [the pipeline] went from a whisper of hope to no hope at all.”This is another nail in the coffin. Enbridge, if they don’t know that, then they’re not very bright – and we know they’re bright because they hire a lot of expensive people,” he said.And Mr. Cullen thinks the company should spend more time pursuing projects that have the endorsement and support of First Nations, citing preliminary plans between Enbridge and Kitselas to explore geothermal opportunities on Kitselas territory near the Lakelse hot springs. He added the election of Ms. Notley signifies a shifting attitude in Canadian voters where even small-c conservatives can get behind the NDP to demand a better approach to outdated practices of resource development. “Why fight against communities,” he said. “Why not work with us?”The election of Ms. Notley and an NDP government in Alberta “changes the conversation” on energy in Canada, said Cullen. Over the past several months Mr. Cullen campaigned on his private members bill, which, along with banning supertankers off the north coast, focussed on a value-added energy plan – something Notley speaks of as well.”She’s also suggested that value-added is very important to changing the math on these pipelines – changing the risk and reward with these pipelines,” he said. “Getting away from one pipeline or another… broadening the conversation.”

Just Posted

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

Day 6 from the All Native Basketball Tournament

Scores from Feb. 16 and finals matchups at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Day 5 of the All Native Basketball Tournament

Scores from Feb. 15 at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert

Queen Charlotte voters test sewage plan ahead of Feb. 24 referendum

Comparing Martynuik Road site and Skidegate tie-in a key issue at council Q & A

On the Wing: Rarities, Peterson, and eagles

By Margo Hearne Rare birds come and go from Haida Gwaii. It… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Langley enjoys home ice while roller coast ride continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling from B.C. court

B.C. Supreme Court decided to end the practice of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

Hedley was dropped by their label last week after sexual misconduct accusations

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. takes home gold in two-man bobsleigh

Women’s hockey team beats Russia 5-0, Comox skier takes home best qualifying score

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Most Read