Federal Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau announced his party’s opposition in allowing crude oil tankers on B.C.’s north coast in late June with a northern B.C. tanker ban.
While unveiling the party’s comprehensive platform for the upcoming Oct. 19 federal election, Trudeau effectively made clear the Liberals’ opposing stance to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline designed to bring crude oil from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.
“It’s not because people don’t care about the economy that they’re not in favour of Northern Gateway, it’s because they do care about their economy. They do care about the prospects for their kids and grandkids to have jobs and to thrive in this incredibly beautiful part of the world,” said Trudeau while exploring Hartley Bay in a video posted to the Liberals’ website.
“We have to make sure that we’re caring for the environment and the economy at the same time.”
The leader’s position has heated up the anti-tanker debate on the North Coast in the days counting down to the election.
This past April, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP and NDP member Nathan Cullen had his private member’s bill, Bill C-628, defeated. The bill proposed an amendment to the Canada Shipping Act to prohibit the transportation of oil in oil tankers in the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound and requires the National Energy Board to take into account certain specified factors before making a recommendation to the Minister in respect of the issuance of a pipeline certificate.
It was defeated by a count of 141 votes to 120 on April 1. All Liberal, NDP and Green Party members who voted, had voted in favour of the bill, while all Conservative Party of Canada members who voted, had voted against it.
Last year, the Conservative federal government agreed to let Enbridge build the pipeline, subject to 209 conditions and five B.C. provincial government conditions.