Leaders reflect on Enbridge court challenge and reserved decision

On Oct. 8, the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver ended six days of legal challenges related to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

With the Vancouver Federal Court of Appeals reserving their decision to uphold or reject the government’s approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, a 1,200 km pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to a Kitimat terminal shipping diluted bitumen, both Enbridge and area First Nations are taking a wait-and-see approach for potential next steps.

On Oct. 8, the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver ended six days of legal challenges presented in court of arguments against the project, including those by the North Coast band, Kitkatla.

“[The court] basically just said they’ll come back with a response a little later on and they were going to review the material and get back to our respective lawyers on it,” said Kitkatla Chief Clifford White last week.

“For us though, it’s definitely ‘No’ to crude oil going through the territory. One spill would devastate our [land] and all types of seafood and it will actually destroy the beauty and nature of the northwest coast here.”

Arguments in favour of overturning the government’s go-ahead to Enbridge include stating that the pipeline review panel did not adequately converse with affected First Nations groups or fully take into account the potential threats to the environment that the pipeline’s route would take.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice weighed in on the issue as well, stating that these proceedings are nothing new for the company.

“There is no question that the Enbridge pipelines and supertanker project is not in the public’s interest with the thousands of people who spoke against the project during the NEB (National Energy Board) hearings. There is significant opposition from northern First Nations and coastal communities that would be most impacted by the project,” said Rice.

“Premier [Christy] Clark confounded this by relinquishing B.C.’s rights to a joint environmental assessment which further eroded British Columbians’ confidence in her government to keep our best interests at stake. I think it’s time we move past the controversial Enbridge project and focus on projects that speak favourably to the rights and values of the citizens of British Columbia and [the rest of] Canada.”

Enbridge president of Northern Gateway, John Carruthers, responded after the litigation processes concluded on Oct. 8.

“We believe First Nations and Métis peoples should be owners of projects on their lands and territories and should benefit directly from such projects. That ownership will result in such long-term financial dividends, jobs, educational and economic opportunities, and will ensure that First Nations and Métis communities can directly contribute their traditional knowledge to make projects better and safer,” said Carruthers in a statement.

“Despite this litigation hearing, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the applicant First Nations and would be very pleased to develop mutually beneficial solutions with them. Northern Gateway is open to change. We will continue to adapt and address First Nation and Métis concerns as they arise and seek opportunities for meaningful, respectful dialogue with all groups.”

In June 2014, the government approved the $7 billion project with 209 conditions made by a review panel created to consider environmental impacts.

Just Posted

ELECTION DAY: Here’s where to vote

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Coast Guard works with First Nations in oil response exercise

Approximately 80 people involved in mock oil response in the Prince Rupert harbour

Judd Repole honoured with jersey retirement

Repole played for five years with the Osoyoos Coyotes in the KIJHL

Part 2: Online shopping, taxes and labour pressure on Rupert’s retail

Part Two of a series investigating the shrinking retail sector on the North Coast of B.C.

This Week Pocast – Episode 107

Rainbow Nation’s host Russel Adams joins the show to talk about elections, cannabis and Halloween

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read