B.C. NDP leader tours proposed tanker route

Provincial NDP leader Adrian Dix is visiting northwest B.C. this week, tracing proposed oil tanker routes by boat.

B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix (left) stopped by the Terrace Standard office on the first day of his your of the northwest. Accompanying him is local NDP MLA Robin Austin.

With a springtime provincial election inching closer, provincial NDP leader Adrian Dix touched down in B.C.’s northwest  yesterday for a first-hand look at what’s shaping up to be a key election issue.

Dix, the leader of the official opposition, landed in Terrace Sunday, with plans to meet with local governments before boarding a boat to travel the Douglas Channel — the route oil tanker traffic would take should Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project come to fruition.

Dix says meeting with local governments and coastal First Nations along proposed tanker routes means a deeper and more localized understanding of the pipeline and resulting tanker traffic issue, which his party will be taking a firm stand against. He also criticized the current B.C. Liberal government for five preconditions it set last week  to be met prior to provincial support of the project.

“The B.C. Liberal party … is seemingly quite isolated from people in its approach for this issue,” said Dix.

“I like to hear from people … when I’m talking about the risk of oil spills and the coast,” Dix said. “I’m not just talking about it as some sort of political idea, but I’ve met the people it’s really going to affect.”

Dix criticized the five preconditions set by B.C. Liberals last week; successful completion of the federal environmental review; a world-leading marine oil spill prevention, response and recovery system; world-leading land spill prevention and response measures; the addressing of aboriginal and treaty rights, including First Nation participation and benefits; and a ‘fair share’ of the economic benefits of a proposed heavy oil project that reflects the elevated risk.

Dix said the preconditions are hiding Liberal favour of the project.

“They’re only condition really is that we get a fist full of dollars from somewhere, and then we’re prepared to take the environmental and economic risks,” he said, poking holes in four other conditions set.

“It effectively states that we have to be able to clean up after an oil spill. Well, no kidding,” said Dix. “[The NDP would] prefer there not be an oil spill.”

He added that First Nations participation and benefits is something already required of Enbridge, and that the province could have done its own environmental review of the project, but didn’t.

“The joint review process condition, well in that case the Liberal government gave up our jurisdiction,” said Dix, noting that the province relied on the federal review process but never participated in it. “The Liberal government decided to sign over that authority to the federal government, which supports the project.”

“It certainly doesn’t respect the view of people in this region, or the people in B.C.,” said Dix.

And should the NDP be the new provincial leaders after this spring’s election, Dix said the province’s stance would shift to one of opposition.

But by that point, the window to participate in the federal review process will be gone — and even if the federal review process turns a result against the project, new federal powers mean that decision could be overturned.

Dix says, in that case, the NDP are looking at what powers the province has to put a stop to it.

“I’ve put together a legal team to assess all of the options available to us, both upon us becoming government  and after a potential decision by the joint review panel,” he said. “We are putting together and preparing … so that we’re able to use the provincial jurisdiction of the people of B.C.”

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Six pedestrians hit on crosswalks along Second Avenue West

Story includes an interactive map to show where pedestrians have been hit in Prince Rupert

Two orphan bear cubs travel from Haida Gwaii to Smithers

The sibling cubs will spend the winter at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter

Sports briefs

Here’s what is going on in sports this weekend in Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Homeless shelter opens with 25 beds

Tent city occupant said they made their point, plans to use the new Prince Rupert emergency shelter

Gitga’at make a permanent space for members in Prince Rupert

The coastal B.C. nation purchased a building on Third Avenue West to support its members

This Week Podcast – Episode 60

Prince Rupert’s podcast learns more about the new playground at Mariners Park and more headlines

CONTEST: Send us your Hammy photos to win a free T-shirt

Submit your best Hammy the deer photo by Nov. 30 to be entered to win

Privacy breach at Burns Lake hospital

Approximately 150 people were affected

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

Northeastern B.C. residents urged to be specific when reporting fires

Fire dispatch services are now being handled by North Island 911 in Campbell River

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Most Read