Enbridge bursary money remains in limbo

NORTHWEST Community College is still trying to figure out a way to pass along $15,000 in Enbridge bursary money to its students.

College administrators first accepted the money in early March in the form of six $2,500 bursaries and were preparing to decide who among 71 applicants were to receive the money but that was stopped when the college board decided to send the money back just weeks later.

The company’s planned Northern Gateway pipeline to carry Alberta crude to a marine export terminal at Kitimat has been heavily criticized as a risk to the environment for potential land-based and ocean spills.

At that time of the board’s rejection, chair Rhoda Witherly said the college would somehow work on getting the money to deserving students.

And that’s still the case Witherly said last week.

“But we still haven’t come to an exact mechanism,” she added.

“Staff were nervous about being seen to circumvent what was a board motion.”

Witherly described the situation in which the intent is to help deserving students as “quite awkward.”

Enbridge Northern Gateway official Catherine Pennington said she was frustrated by what has happened.

“We’re still completely dedicated [to the bursaries] but haven’t yet been given a mechanism. We have made overtures to the college,” she said. “We’ve asked the college board chair to give us some ideas.”

One idea suggested by Enbridge is for it to provide letters to the college which would then distribute them to the students who had originally applied.

The letters would invite the students to contact Enbridge directly so the company could then choose the six successful applicants.

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