B.C. Liberals should listen to British Columbians on Enbridge, not eastern politicians

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The B.C. Liberal government should listen to British Columbians about the Enbridge pipeline instead of echoing eastern politicians and investment bankers that the project should and will go ahead, say the New Democrats.

“Enbridge wants to transport Alberta bitumen to tankers on B.C.’s North Coast at great risk to our land, air and water and with almost no long-term jobs for British Columbians. The B.C. Liberals think that’s a hurdle that will be overcome. We think it’s just a bad project for B.C.,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan.

On Wednesday, B.C. Liberal minister Michael de Jong stated that approval of the Enbridge pipeline faces “some hurdles and challenges… but I think they can be overcome.” He was responding to discussion of Enbridge at a Goldman Sachs energy forum in New York and to a letter signed by several current and former premiers from outside British Columbia, including former Ontario conservative premiers Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.

“Northern British Columbians and First Nations don’t care which former Ontario premier or Goldman Sachs executive is in favour of this project,” said Horgan. “Eastern politicians and investment bankers aren’t being asked to put their environment, community and economy at risk with next to no benefit.”

New Democrat environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said British Columbians expect a clear “no” on the project; but the B.C. Liberals tied the province’s hands behind its back by giving away project approval to the federal government and failing to make B.C. a full intervener in the project review.

“Premier Clark’s failure to take control over the environmental review when she had the chance was short-sighted and reckless, robbing British Columbians of a direct say on this project,” said Chandra Herbert. “Now, instead of saying a clear ‘no’, her minister is dismissing British Columbians’ objections outright.”

“British Columbians have been clear—B.C. needs to create more jobs through resource development that benefits our communities and protects our land, air and water,” said Horgan. “The risks from this project to our environment, our communities, and our economy are too great. That’s why New Democrats have consistently opposed this plan to transport Alberta bitumen to tankers on B.C.’s North Coast.”