Report findings not good: Nathan Cullen

  • Jan. 6, 2012 8:00 p.m.

The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development tabled his report in December, and Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says findings were not good. Scott Vaughan pointed to major problems with compliance verification, enforcement and emergency response procedures. “We have several pipeline proposals in front of us and a government that is failing to ensure that pipelines are safe for the environment and Canadians,” Mr. Cullen said. “How can any of these projects get approved under theseconditions?” One of the proposals, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, would carry unrefined oil from Alberta’s tar sands through Mr. Cullen’s riding. At Kitimat, the goods would transfer to super tankers for transport to Asia. Enbridge faces fierce opposition from locals, including 130 First Nations. Last month, Mr. Cullen met with Gitxsan hereditary chiefs days after they promptly overturned treaty negotiator Elmer Derrick’s unexpected agreement with Enbridge for a $7-million stake in the project. The community remains divided. “We’ve already seen how Enbridge is willing to tear communities apart,” said Mr. Cullen. “Now the report tells us that this government has no strategy for issues of environmental concern.” Problems mentioned were risks of leaking and bursting pipes, no follow-up on safety deficiencies and the absence of a clear plan of action for emergency response when accidents happen. “These pipelines are transporting dangerous goods,” said Mr. Cullen. “In light of this report, I have zero confidence in this government’s ability to force companies like Enbridge to protect the salmon fishery, the water supply, and First Nations’ land.” Mr. Cullen will appear as an intervenor at the project’s Joint Review Panel later this year.