Premier’s stance on Enbridge disappointing: Island leaders

  • Aug. 1, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Community leaders on Haida Gwaii say they are disappointed in Premier Christy Clark’s stance on the Northern Gateway pipeline. Ms Clark last week set five conditions for supporting the Alberta-Kitimat pipeline and marine terminal, but some islanders believe she should have outright rejected the project. The premier’s statement that BC needs more economic benefits from the pipeline in recognition of the risks it faces made headlines across the country, but left some wondering how more money could possibly outweigh the risks. “It sounds like if the price is right, the project will be approved,” said Masset mayor Andrew Merilees. “There are no benefits that are worth the risk. I’m very disappointed she didn’t take a firm stand opposing the pipeline.” Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha said no amount of money would be enough to protect Haida Gwaii in the event of a tanker spill. “I do not think this is a good project for British Columbia,” she said, adding that she is not opposed to all tanker traffic and does recognize the need for energy. “Bitumen is particularly difficult… you just can’t clean it up easily. That in particular is a problem.” Queen Charlotte councillor Kris Olsen said Ms Clark had made it sound like the risk could be worth it if BC receives enough money, a view he does not agree with. “In my mind, there is no price,” he said. “What’s at stake is too costly. You can’t throw enough money at it.”