That old cliche, “what a difference a year makes” may apply to what happened in some situations between early 2012 and this new year of 2013 but certainly not to Enbridge’s planned Northern Gateway pipeline project.
Just as 2012 opened with the first round of federal environmental review hearings taking place in Kitimat, 2013 features pretty much the same, only the hearing location this week is in Victoria.
Those opposed to the project and those in favour continue to duel over the results of public opinion polls as to whether or not there’s a quantifiable swing in either direction and whether public opinion polls are valid foundations with which to craft public policy.
Just as it did in January 2012, Enbridge has doggedly stuck to a basic message – don’t judge until all of the facts about the project are out there for evaluation and consideration.
Enbridge’s many detractors continue to point to any number of operational calamities elsewhere – top of the list, of course, is Enbridge’s Michigan oil spill – as a reason to have Gateway placed on a high shelf in a far back storage room.
What also hasn’t changed over the past year is that somehow in someplace and at sometime oil from Alberta is going to make its way to the west coast. Whether that’s going to be through Northern Gateway or not is a debate that will also still be with us a year from now.