Northern Gateway project called bad economics

NDP environment critic, on visit to Terrace, says project threatens local jobs

One of the strongest cases pipeline opponents can make against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline is an economic one, says NDP provincial environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert, who stopped in Terrace this week during a brief tour of the northwest with Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin.

“The local economy is stronger without the Enbridge pipeline and all of its risks,” Herbert said Wednesday in Terrace. “This area’s known as an incredible area for wilderness tourism, for fishing, for all of those kinds of things that have drawn people here and kept people here. You have to respect that economy rather than saying we’ll give you the equivalent of one or two McDonald’s in terms of jobs and risk all of that.”

This is the first time Herbert has been in Terrace since becoming his party’s environment critic following last May’s provincial election. The last time he was in town he was the NDP critic for the arts, culture and tourism.

Herbert, who is the MLA for Vancouver’s West End riding, said he’s not heard from anyone in the area who is in favour of Northern Gateway, which would see Alberta crude shipped via pipeline to a marine terminal at Kitimat for export overseas.

But he did acknowledge that certain supporters of the pipeline have become more vocal since a federal panel late last month recommended that the federal cabinet approve the project, subject to 209 conditions.

“I think people in Vancouver who work at a pipeline company are starting to be more vocal, but I think people up here will not see any real lasting jobs and will risk thousands of jobs, so the tradeoff doesn’t make sense,” Herbert said. “The government can claim it got elected on an economic mandate but no economy can support saying we’ll risk thousands upon thousands of jobs on your environmental health for a few part-time, short-term jobs. That’s bad economic math.”

And he criticized the provincial government’s response to the report.

“Before the [provincial] election the Liberals tried to show that they were opposed to Enbridge but they are now waffling,” he said. “The federal report came out and they didn’t say, ‘well we still say no,’ they said, ‘well let’s see what Stephen Harper decides.’”

The provincial government has outlined five conditions it says need to be met before it will consider approving the project, including a fair share of the economic benefits, world-leading spill prevention and response, and First Nations engagement.

In its formal submission to the federal review panel last year, the province said it was opposed, noting that an effective response to marine oil spills was not possible.


Just Posted

Police encourage reporting of suspicious events following reports involving children

Terrace RCMP are asking the public to report any suspicious adult interactions… Continue reading

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… 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

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

Most Read