B.C. Liberals miss final deadline to protect coast from Enbridge pipeline and tankers

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VANCOUVER – December 1 marks the last day the B.C. Liberal government could have stood up for British Columbia and stopped the federal government from ramming the proposed Enbridge pipeline and oil tanker project through, say B.C.’s New Democrats.

“By failing to take back control over this major decision and let British Columbia have the final say, Christy Clark has signaled she’s more than happy to have Stephen Harper’s government in Ottawa – a government which has called opponents of Enbridge enemies and radicals – tell B.C. what to do,” said New Democrat environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.

B.C. had the right to serve 30 days’ notice to withdraw from the 2010 Equivalency Agreement which handed jurisdiction over the final decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to the federal government. With the review panel set to report by Dec. 31, Sunday was the last day to serve that notice.

Chandra Herbert noted this isn’t the first deadline the B.C. Liberals have missed. They also failed to submit evidence on behalf of the province during the hearings on the pipeline last year.

“The Liberal government has repeatedly failed to stand up for B.C. against the Enbridge pipeline, and has made it clear this province’s environment is up for sale for the right price,” said Chandra Herbert.

“The premier thinks she can have it both ways – appearing to be opposed to the project while giving up the province’s legal rights to do anything if the project is pushed through,” said New Democrat North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

“The facts have not changed – there is no capacity to respond to even a moderate oil spill, which would destroy coastal communities and cost the province thousands of jobs. The risk to our economy and our environment is just not worth taking,” said Rice.

New Democrats are standing with local communities, First Nations, business people, and environmentalists who have been clear that the Enbridge pipeline and tanker project should not be allowed to pass through our communities and endanger our rivers and coast.