Liberals' Latest Enbridge Position Effectively Abandons Oil Tanker Moratorium
Vancouver- The Liberal government still refuses to protect B.C.'s best interests in its latest attempt to recast the Enbridge pipeline proposal, said New Democrat leader Adrian Dix today.
“New Democrats are in favour of sound economic development, but the Enbridge pipeline does not meet that test. This is one of the key reasons our caucus formally told the Joint Review Panel that we do not support the project.
“In contrast, the current provincial government relinquished control of the pipeline approval to Ottawa, an ardent support of NGP. It then gave the pro pipeline side a clear advantage by failing to meet the deadline to submit evidence to the federal review process about the Enbridge pipeline posing serious economic and environmental risks for BC.
“And today, they made abandoning the decades-old moratorium on oil tanker traffic on our north coast part of the Liberals’ position, “said Dix.
Dix also noted that several of the other conditions presented by the government today are either standard expectations, or part of the approval process the Liberals already agreed to.
“Consultation with First Nations is a legal requirement, yet the Liberals have dressed this up as if they are taking a stand," said Dix. "Approval from the Joint Review Panel has always been a condition since the Liberals decided to abandon BC’s right to conduct its own environmental assessment of the pipeline.
Today’s announcement continued the government's ongoing refusal to take a real stand, given that the Premier has already acknowledged that B.C. takes all the risks yet received almost none of the benefits from the Enbridge pipeline.
“Its entire purpose was to try to get the Premier out of a political box," said Dix. "The latest version of the Liberals’ ever-shifting NGP position still does not acknowledge the fundamental problems with this proposal – that it threatens both BC’s economy and environment.
Dix and the New Democrat caucus, who formally announced their opposition to the NGP in a submission to the Joint Review Panel this April, plan to continue their province wide efforts to mobilize British Columbians who are opposed to the pipeline.
“Far from standing up for the environment, the Liberals' new position has significantly weakened environmental protection in B.C. when it comes to pipelines. Since the government refuses to do so, it's clearly up to British Columbians to come together, make their voices heard and oppose the Enbridge pipeline."