Minister’s support of Enbridge raises the ire of MP

During last week's conference of Canadian energy ministers in Kananaskis Alberta Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver pulled no punches in outlining his support for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, saying “we are supportive of the Gateway project because it will open up exports”, and that comment while the project is still under review has raised the ire of the northwest's MP.

During last week’s conference of Canadian energy ministers in Kananaskis Alberta Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver pulled no punches in outlining his support for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, saying “we are supportive of the Gateway project because it will open up exports”, and that comment while the project is still under review has raised the ire of the northwest’s MP.

It’s troubling to see a federal minister promoting a project that’s currently under review,You would think that Enbridge has enough lobbyists; they don’t need the Minister of Natural Resources shilling for them too,” said Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

I don’t know how people are supposed to put their trust in a review process when the Minister in charge is already saying he wants to build the pipeline.”

Alberta energy minister Ron Liepert said he wanted to see the Federal Cabinet “expedite that decision”, while Oliver said votes taken at the summit were unanimous – although Ontario and BC energy ministers were absent.

As well Oliver said the pipelne was in the national interest to lessen Canada’s dependence on the shaky US energy market as a buyer.

With eighty per cent of British Columbians saying no to tankers off our north coast, I’m not sure what the Minister is thinking when he says the pipeline is in the ‘national interest’. Many of B.C. communities depend on river and marine resources for their livelihoods. And First Nations have clearly said no to the pipeline passing through their traditional territory,” said Cullen.

The only interests he seems to be thinking about are those of the oil company.”

Federal support has also upset the provincial NDP.

“Alberta’s energy minister put out a call to his provincial and federal counterparts to speed up approval of the pipeline. That’s fine for him, but Premier Clark and Minister Coleman have a responsibility to British Columbians. Will Christy Clark stand up on behalf of the people of this province and oppose this pipeline?” questioned NDP energy and mines critic Doug Donaldson.

The way to move forward with big projects like this is for Christy Clark to stop playing politics with our environment and commit to a stringent process people can trust.”