Put the environment first: Statement on Joint Review Panel recommendations on Northern Gateway Project

Yesterday, the federal Joint Review Panel (JRP) released its decision to approve the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project -- a pipeline running from the tar sands of Northern Alberta to the port of Kitimat B.C.

The decision, both alarming and careless, caters to the interests of oil companies and ignores the values and safety of ordinary Canadians.

HEU members are committed to protecting the environment and to keeping B.C. waters and ecosystems safe.

Our union urges all levels of government to do the same.

Last year, HEU representatives from across B.C. adopted a position in opposition to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, and individual HEU members also voiced their concerns during the JRP`s hearing process.

Submissions to these hearings in communities across Alberta and B.C., through oral statements, letters, and other interventions, were overwhelmingly in opposition to the Project based on the risks associated with the pipeline and related tanker traffic on the Northwest Coast.

These risks were underscored by Enbridge’s own data, showing that it was responsible for over 800 spills between 1999 and 2010 which resulted in the release of over 160,000 barrels of oil into the environment.

In addition to ignoring the evidence, the federal government has failed to meaningfully consult with First Nations despite the significant impact the project could have on aboriginal rights and title.

HEU is calling on the provincial and federal governments to respect both the evidence and the overwhelming opposition to the pipeline project.