Enbridge pipeline an enormous risk for little benefit

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Clark still camouflaging her support for unacceptable approach to creating B.C. jobs

VICTORIA – The federal decision to green-light the Enbridge pipeline puts B.C. jobs and B.C.’s natural beauty at enormous risk for little benefit, say the New Democrats.

“This is a bad day for British Columbians who believe, as I do, that B.C. needs to create more new jobs through resource development that benefits our communities and protects our land, air and water,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan. “We have consistently opposed this plan to transport Alberta bitumen to tankers on B.C.’s north coast because the risks to our environment, communities and economy are too great.”

New Democrat environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said British Columbians expect a clear “no” on the project; but instead Premier Clark is barely hiding her government’s support for the project, including when she gave sole project approval away to the federal government.

Monday, Clark said the project has not yet met her government’s conditions. But last week her finance minister said Enbridge faces “some hurdles… but I think they can be overcome.” Key Clark advisor Stockwell Day also signed an open letter calling for approval.

“Premier Clark tied B.C.’s hands instead of insisting on shared control of the environmental review,” said Chandra Herbert. “She robbed British Columbians of a direct say on this project, opting instead to try to camouflage her government’s support, with her five conditions.”

Horgan added that the drawbacks of the Enbridge project stand in stark contrast to the made-in-B.C. opportunity of liquefied natural gas development.

“If managed properly, with protection of our land, air and water, LNG exports will create good new jobs in B.C., respect and include First Nations and benefit B.C. communities,” said Horgan. “But, even for a government fixated on LNG to the detriment of all other economic sectors, the B.C. Liberals are putting the LNG opportunity at risk.

“The premier is jeopardizing key partnerships with First Nations and her proposed tax framework will be a year late. Her government is not working effectively to gain social license for LNG exports, having refused to conduct a scientific review of fracking, lead an honest public discussion about her government’s greenhouse gas targets, or take action to mitigate risks to our land, air and water.

“The B.C. Liberals’ failures on Enbridge and LNG are hurting investor, First Nations and public confidence in the economy and harming B.C.’s ability to create more jobs through resource development,” said Horgan.