NDP would set up B.C.'s own pipeline review, Adrian Dix announces

A New Democrat government would end review with federal government

A New Democrat government would withdraw from the federal government’s Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline review process and set up a made-in-B.C. environmental assessment, B.C. New Democrat leader Adrian Dix announced Wednesday. 

The pipeline would carry oil from Alberta’s oil sands through northern B.C. to Kitimat for shipment overseas.

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“Within a week of taking office, we will serve the federal government with 30 days’ notice to terminate the 2010 deal in which the Liberals signed away B.C.’s interests,” Dix said. “British Columbia’s citizens, communities and First Nations must have full confidence that their voices will be heard by Victoria. 

“This Liberal government has failed British Columbians at every stage of the Enbridge pipeline application process. First they signed away B.C.’s right to review the project. Then they refused to take a clear stance. They even missed the deadline to provide evidence to the federal process.” 

Under Section 6 of the 2010 Equivalency Agreement between the B.C. and the federal government, either party can withdraw from the process with 30 days’ written notice. While the process is being conducted by a joint review panel, “joint” refers to the shared authority of the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Authority — not to a joint initiative undertaken by B.C. and Ottawa, said Dix.

NDP environment critic Rob Fleming, who spoke at the press conference with environmental lawyer Murray Rankin, said a made-in-B.C. review would ensure that B.C.’s economic, social and environmental interests are fully addressed, that B.C.'s powers and responsibilities are properly exercised and that First Nations’ interests are recognized within the new process. 

In April, the NDP caucus submitted a letter to the joint review panel outlining its opposition to the Northern Gateway project. 

Rankin is chairing a legal advisory committee that has been asked to assess B.C.’s legal authority and to identify legal options with regard to the pipeline.

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