First Nations wants B.C. NDP to include Kinder Morgan in pipeline assessment pledge
by Canadian Manufacturing Online Daily Staff with files from the Canadian Press
B.C. NDP leader vowed yesterday to subject Enbridge to a "made in B.C." environmental assessment for Northern Gateway.
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.—The Tseil-Waututh Nation is calling on B.C.’s NDP to apply its “made in B.C.” environmental assessment to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which would terminate in the heart of their territory.
Kinder Morgan announced in April a $5 billion project to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline to North Vancouver.
Yesterday, B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix says if he is elected premier next year, his government will withdraw from the current environmental assessment of Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway project and will set up a “made-in-B.C.” environmental assessment within a week of taking office.
“We commend Adrian Dix’s decision to withdraw from the federal government’s Enbridge Northern Gateway review process. We too feel that the federal process is flawed,” says Chief Justin George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “However, his announcement falls short. We need to know if the NDP’s proposed assessment would also apply to Kinder Morgan’s plans.”
Dix opposes the pipeline proposed by Calgary-based Enbridge, and says a provincial assessment will ensure British Columbians have their voices heard.
“Considering that we have voiced our concerns to the B.C. NDP on several occasions, we are disappointed they did not also address Kinder Morgan’s pipeline in their announcement,” says Gabriel George, Sacred Trust Manager of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
B.C.’s environment minister, Terry Lake, has already voiced concerns about Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project and has said some of the conditions the province has set out before approving the project will also be applied to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal.
Lake says the province wants Kinder Morgan to beef up oil spill prevention and response before it will support the project.
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation says it has experienced the results of crude oil handling and refining on the Burrard Inlet for several decades and says after serious consideration, the risks associated with the pipeline are just too great to accept. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is located along the shores of the inlet in North Vancouver.
“Kinder Morgan is proposing that we become an oil port city. Oil port cities throughout the world become waterway dead zones,” says Chief George. “This is not just a First Nations issue. People from all backgrounds enjoy Vancouver’s great quality of life. We need to unit to protect this environment for all of our future generations.”
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation says it supports sustainable economic development and proposes finding sustainable, green alternatives to our energy needs. It currently owns and operates, TWN Wind Power Inc.-A Tsleil-Waututh Nation Company,that supplies wind turbines to Canadian aboriginal communities.