In a recent opinion piece (July 9, 2014), Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray details her opposition to the Northern Gateway. While I respect Ms. Murray’s views, I also feel that it is very important to correct the record on a number of key assertions that she makes.
First, it is not true that Northern Gateway will harm the economy. In fact, Northern Gateway will create thousands of good paying jobs that we need to support families and communities in northern British Columbia. That is why Canada’s national building trades unions, representing 300,000 working men and women, support the project.
Moreover, Northern Gateway will generate billions of dollars in new revenue that Canadians need to pay for vital public programs, like health care, education, and infrastructure. Ms. Murray and opponents of the project fail to say how they will support those programs without economic development projects like Northern Gateway.
Second, it is not true that Northern Gateway has failed to win support in communities along the right-of-way. In fact, 26 equity partnership agreements have been signed with Aboriginal communities representing more than 60 per cent of the Aboriginal population along the proposed route. We have more work to do, but we are very proud of the progress we have made.
Third, it is not true, as Ms. Murray implies, that the Joint Review Panel set aside concerns about the proposal when it made its recommendation to approve Northern Gateway. In fact, the Joint Review Panel process was the most comprehensive environmental review of its kind in Canadian history. It recommended approval of Northern Gateway subject to 209 tough conditions.
Ms. Murray’s party hopes to form government in the next election. If successful, they too would rely upon the experts and processes at the NEB to determine whether economy boosting projects like ours can be built and operated safely.
From the beginning, Northern Gateway has worked with one goal in mind: to build a safer, better pipeline that generates jobs and opportunity and protects our environment. Key to meeting that goal is listening carefully to British Columbians and Canadians. And our proposal reflects the input of thousands of people from every walk of life. For more information about Northern Gateway, I encourage you to visit www.gatewayfacts.ca.
Ivan Giesbrecht, spokesperson, Enbridge Northern Gateway