Review panel missed the point, says Terrace mayor

Mayor Dave Pernarowski says council's discussions with Enbridge likely to change if federal government approves the pipeline project

Mayor Dave Pernarowski, who voted to stay neutral in city council’s 2012 vote to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway project but who is personally opposed to it, said he was not shocked when he heard the news out of Calgary.

“I don’t know that I was entirely surprised, but I was a little bit disappointed that the review panel just seemed to miss the point that was being brought forward to the panel through all the discussion,” said Pernarowski.

He acknowledged that if the federal government approves the project, which he thinks is likely considering the statements it has made, that the dialogue between council and Enbridge will take on a whole new pitch.

It will “no longer be a ‘do you think this is a good project’” dialogue but instead a “we’re doing the project and we want to get social licence to continue working in the community” discussion, said Pernarowski.

He said that in the new year council will discuss what its orientation will be moving forward, but suspects that council will still be opposed.

“I am concerned about how this is going to impact our community and the region,” said the mayor. “It will be interesting times around here once the bulldozers start rolling out.”

In terms of how an affirmative decision regarding the Enbridge pipeline might affect the proposed liquified natural gas projects Pernarowski said that labour shortages would be a major consideration.

“The first guys out of the gate will be getting the workers,” he said.