Watch: Mary Polak comments on B.C. government’s position on Northern Gateway
B.C. Minister of Environment says the future of the Northern Gateway pipeline project in British Columbia is still contingent on Enbridge meeting the five conditions outlined by the province.
The B.C. government says it can’t support Northern Gateway in its current form, and officially declared opposition to the pipeline a year ago.
The Clark government says its support for the project depends on Enbridge meeting five conditions that include a “fair share” of the economic benefits for B.C., an environmental review, world-leading marine and land oil spill response and prevention systems, and addressing the rights of First Nations.
Minister Mary Polak says four of the five conditions are yet to be met.
“Today marks the meeting of only one of those conditions – successful achievement of the certificate under the federal environmental approval process. There is still much work to be done if the Northern Gateway pipeline is ever to be built in British Columbia,” she says.
“We need to see world leading spill capability, response and remediation on land, we need to see world leading marine spill response, we need to see appropriate relationships and opportunities provides for First Nations, and we need to see British Columbia get its fair share since we are taking on so much of the risk.”
Polak says there is no one jurisdiction in the world that can boast world leading response in every aspect.
“We intend to be that jurisdiction if this is ever to happen on British Columbia coast.”
Polak says they also recognize there is still distinct opposition from B.C.’s First Nations to the project.
“This needs to go beyond just bare minimal legal obligations,” she says. “Not only does the company has to meet their obligations legally for consultation, but they also have to offer to First Nations a reasonable opportunity to participate in the benefits of those projects.”
A rally against the pipeline project will be held at Hamiliton and Georgia Street in Vancouver tonight.