Northern Gateway on death’s door says Cullen

Allowing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline project to proceed in Kitimat would be akin to political suicide for Trudeau.

It was likened to a ‘stay of execution’.

Allowing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline project to proceed in Kitimat, or through a re-routed Prince Rupert location would be akin to political suicide for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen last week.

Thanks to his campaign promises on implementing a North and Central Coast crude oil tanker ban, reneging on that promise after a three-year extension application by Enbridge for its project, would have “devastating political consequences far beyond the northwest,” said Cullen in late May, mentioning that he has heard the extension compared to a ‘stay of execution’.

“The project is sitting on death row and it has been for a long time and it just keeps trudging along, pretending it’s still alive when I think legally and politically, this thing was dead a long time ago,” the MP stated.

“I don’t know why you would want to invest more time and energy into something that has so obviously been rejected by British Columbians. Many people thought the last election in October did kill the project, when 65 per cent of the people in the House of Commons campaigned on a tanker ban that would kill it.”

The 1,177 km pipeline proposed to bring crude oil from Edmonton to Kitimat was approved by the National Energy Board (NEB) in 2014, with numerous conditions. That same NEB will review the three-year extension application from Enbridge while the company tries to acquire legal and regulatory certainty and continue discussions with First Nations.

“Support for our project has grown from 26 to 31 communities over the past two years and is continuing to grow,” a press release stated in May from Northern Gateway, continuing to say “Our goal is for Northern Gateway to help our young people to have a future where they can stay in their communities with training and work opportunities.”

A potential re-routing through Prince Rupert instead of Kitimat was an idea tossed around during a retreat in early May involving the prime minister and his cabinet.

“I’m not going to speculate on hypothetical routes. What I will say is the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a pipeline, for a crude pipeline,” said Prime Minister Trudeau after the retreat.

But Cullen is not satisfied with the current or re-routed project.

“When we asked [Trudeau] questions in the House, he’s starting to narrow his language down on what a tanker ban would be. Somehow I think he thinks Prince Rupert is not in the Great Bear Rainforest, but we’ll give him a map and help him out,” said the Skeena MP.

“I clearly understand the worry and desperation coming out of Alberta in terms of setting up some pipeline routes, but hooking your wagon to a roundly disliked and unsupported project isn’t going to make any sense for Mr. Trudeau, Alberta or anyone concerned with this topic.”

Cullen still awaits the processes associated with implementing the ban.

“We have the legislation ready to go and we’ve been asking the government when they’re planning to introduce it and so far we’ve heard nothing. People are moving from concern to real fears that Mr. Trudeau will actually betray his promise on the super tanker ban off the North Coast and that would have devastating political consequences far beyond the northwest, because people talk to each other. His commitments to First Nations have been very clear and if he were to start to break those in such a way, I think there would be real consequences,” Cullen said.

New ideas needed for school water help

While elementary and secondary school upgrades are normally dealt within the realm of the B.C. legislature in Victoria, Cullen said he’d be open to new avenues of support federally after learning of Prince Rupert’s infrastructure deficit during his last tour across the north.

“We’re in such a predicament, not just within our schools, but with our infrastructure in general, that so much of it is breaking down and is posing a real threat to our health and our kids’ health, that if there is anything innovative that the province and local communities want to suggest and we need some help from the federal government to do it, then I’d be willing to advocate,” he said.

“When a situation gets this bad, innovation and open minds are needed and perhaps that’s something we should consider right now, because I know the concerns in places like Prince Rupert are only growing as to where the money’s actually going to come from. Victoria really doesn’t seem to have much of a plan at all.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read