By the time you read this, Prime Minister Stephen Harper may or may not have rendered a decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
As of today, the countdown for the deadline on a decision from cabinet rests at eight days. While many on the North Coast consider the decision to approve the twin bitumen and oil pipelines a foregone conclusion, it’s interesting to see that other pundits across the country don’t necessarily share that certainty.
There are some who agree, citing national interest, that the pipeline will be green lit. Some even point to the rejection of the Prosperity Mine near Williams Lake as proof of what is to come — they say rejecting that mine is something the Conservatives can turn to as proof they do take the environment into account.
There are others, however, who think the braintrust in Cabinet are looking at a bigger picture when it comes to the political land mine that is the Enbridge Northern Gateway. Approving the project would bring about certain doom for the party in British Columbia, while rejecting it would downplay a lot of the criticism other parties could hurl at them leading into the 2015 election. It would, of course, tick off a lot of people in Alberta, but that province is a bit of a Conservative stronghold.
Really, do you see Alberta being swept up by an orange wave like that seen in Quebec any time soon?
Still others feel the Conservatives will reject the project and recommend they look further up the coast to the area around Prince Rupert.
Doing so would show the party still supports the project, but is listening to concerns about the Douglas Channel. A terminal somewhere on crown land near Grassy Point would eliminate any concerns about navigating the confined Douglas Channel or making any turns to reach the open water.
Regardless of what the government’s decision is, don’t expect it to be the end of the Enbridge story. As long as the project is on the table, opponents won’t be holding their tongues.