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NDP government would quit Northern Gateway environmental assessment: Dix

B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix says if he is elected premier next May, his government will withdraw from the current environmental assessment of the Northern Gateway project and set up a “made in B.C.” review instead.


 

By Vivian Luk

VANCOUVER – B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix says if he is elected premier next May, his government will withdraw from the current environmental assessment of the Northern Gateway project and set up a “made in B.C.” review instead.

That independent review will allow British Columbia to “reassert its authority” over the assessment of the controversial Enbridge (TSX: ENB) pipeline, power that Dix says the provincial Liberal government has turned over to the federal cabinet.

“If we do nothing, then the decision of the B.C. government will be made by [Prime Minister] Stephen Harper,” he told reporters Wednesday.

“I don’t think that’s acceptable to British Columbians. I think the people of B.C. want to have a voice in that process and we intend to provide that.”

The panel reviewing the project jointly represents the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Authority.

More than 4,000 people and groups have asked to make oral submissions at the panel review.

The panel has been holding hearings across Alberta and B.C., and has heard oral evidence from 16 B.C. communities since January.

The panel will be hearing from more people in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna early next year, and the hearings are expected to wrap up next April with a report due by the end of 2013.

One month after the hearings end, British Columbians will go to the polls in a provincial election.

Dix’s opposition to the Northern Gateway project was outlined in a letter submitted to the Joint Review Panel in April.

He reiterated his position on Wednesday, prompting B.C. Aboriginal Relations Minister Mary Polak to question the credibility of the kind of review Dix proposes.

“One would think maybe (Dix) should have announced (the review) prior to (the NDP) taking a position on the pipeline because, of course, for a review to be seen as fair and to be seen as unbiased, you need…not to have already taken a position saying you will absolutely oppose the project,” she said in an interview.

“Even if you could put in place processes that protect the environmental review from the political opinion…the perception of bias in the international community around investment would be present simply because he’s already come out and said there is absolutely no way he’s going to support this.”

The NDP could not say how much a separate review process would cost.

Dix acknowledged there would be cost to taxpayers, but he said there is a lot more at stake financially and environmentally for the province.

Dix acknowledged the federal government ultimately has primary jurisdiction over the fate of the 1,170-kilometre pipeline that would transport oil sands diluted bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat for shipping by tanker to Asian markets.

“We have to have an environmental review and have our own certification process in British Columbia,” he said.

“What the federal government does at that point, given that they’ve accepted we have some of the jurisdiction, remains to be seen, but we’re going to assert our jurisdiction.”

In June 2010, the provincial and federal governments signed an agreement that allows either party to withdraw from any National Energy Board environmental assessment of a project upon giving 30 days’ notice.

Dix, who was joined by NDP environmental critic Rob Fleming and constitutional lawyer Murray Rankin on Wednesday, said he would serve Ottawa the notice within a week in office.

But when asked whether the outcome of a provincial environmental review can have the authority to block the project, both Dix and Rankin said it is a matter that a legal team is going to examine.

“The primary jurisdiction for an inter-provincial pipeline is federal,” Rankin said.

“That does not mean, however, there isn’t a number of provincial powers that can come to play in a circumstance like this. A team of constitutional lawyers right now is trying to analyze just what that would mean.”

A spokesman for federal Environment Minister Peter Kent said Kent will not comment on hypotheticals.

Environmental advocates say they support Dix’s decision, particularly when the federal government recently implemented budget cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“The federal budget bill earlier this year gutted the whole federal environmental process, basically paving the road for pipelines and tankers,” said Karen Wristen of Living Oceans Society in a written statement.

“The province of B.C. is more than justified in pulling out of the joint assessment agreement, because the federal process is no longer anything we could call ‘equivalent’ to proper environmental assessment. We will be pushing for a review that looks at the real risks that B.C. communities are asked to bear by the Enbridge proposal.”

Dix said he does not expect his proposal will result in strained relations with Ottawa.

“It’s my intention to have a business-like relationship with whoever is prime minister, whether that’s Mr. Harper or Mr. (Thomas) Mulcair,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to accept everything the federal government says on every issue.”

Last year, a proposal by Taseko Mines (TSX:TKO) to build an open pit gold-copper mine near Williams Lake was rejected by a federal governmental review, even though the project was approved by the B.C. government.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency said the New Prosperity mine proposal did not address fundamental issues central to environmental assessment, such as water quality and fish habitat.

Ottawa has agreed to hear a second environmental review after Taseko reworks the project.

Dix did not elaborate either on what the NDP would do if the proposed provincial review concludes that the Northern Gateway project should go ahead.

“I don’t think you set up an independent process to assume the result,” he said.

“They’re going to review it independently, they’re going to hear from British Columbians, and they’re going to issue a report. As a British Columbian myself with strong views on (the pipeline,) I’d have to take that into consideration.

“My position now is I don’t think it’s in the economic and environmental interest of B.C.”


 
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NDP government would quit Northern Gateway environmental assessment: Dix

  1. Comrade Dix is a funny little commie… dangerous and stupid, but nonetheless funny. With clowns like french language activist, Dix, and federal “Liberals” like Kristy Klark, BC will soon be referred to as, Quebec west… hilarious… maybe BC will start threatening to “separate”… LOL!!! Good times.

    • You’re confused – Alberta is the western province where folks start crying about separation when they don’t get their way. BC is the place to which they flee the moment they start collecting their pension, or at least a couple of days off in a row.

      • Leave him be. Anyone who still goes around calling people “commie” and “comrade” in 2012 and making juvenile word plays on the BC premiers name, not to mention carrying out a personal vendetta against a PM 12 years dead and 28 years out of office is frankly a bit loopy.

        • Says the little Marxist whos tribal “feelings” get hurt when someone labels his heros as “commies”. Not to mention a disturbingly blind love of a not dead enough bigoted, revolutionary, dilettante of a PM, who mangled a once a great nation, for no other purpose then indoctrinated hatred, stupidity, and maliciousness. Sorry I hurt your “feelings” kfc no.2

          • Cute… wishing death on someone is bad karma looney… and just what I would expect from someone on the extreme left of the political sphere. Sucks to be you.

          • I’m not worried about you. As long as you can see mountains from your house you know all you need to. Whatever “bad karma looney” is, it doesn’t sound like something I want.

          • yes looney, I’m positive you don’t know what “bad karma’ is, just as I’m sure you don’t know much of anything. Have fun going through life as… yourself.

          • Do you ever get tired of being wrong – i’m no dipper. As for being a Marxist or commie, well let’s say you’re a little deluded shall we.
            And i make no apologies for admiring a great Canadian.I’m aware of his failings in much the same way as Macdonald – both were great men anyway.
            I pity you. You seem to have devoted a fair bit of your life toward a pointless bitter hatred of a politician – poor poor you.

          • “I make no apologies for admiring a great Canadian”… LOL!! Please elaborate on said “greatness”. I love my country, which is more then I can say for you… I was never old enough to either vote for or against the little nazi lover from Quebec, a little before my time, but I’m well aware of his hatred of Canada and it’s people, with the exception of his fellow tribesman, and I’m also aware of his destruction of our inherited traditions and history, as well his dictatorial nature in imposing his warped ideology. Funny, because I pity you, as you are unable to see through the myriad of myths, and the destructive nature of your hero Pierre…. Most adults that I know get wiser with age, and are able to see through the folly and superficiality of past voting habits, most especially when the evidence suggests that a vote for trudeau was an act of lunacy. You don’t seem to be someone who has grown up and out of the insipidly shallow “Trudeaumania” which speaks volumes in regards to your stunted intellectual capacity. Perhaps you could share why you would regard such an irresponsible, small minded, shallow individual as Trudeau as a “great man”. Something tangible please, save the bum shining to the CBC, something that Trudeau imposed that has made the life of Canada and Canadians better.

          • You appear to be a worst case than i thought. Still in your 40s or early 50s yet you cry for a Canada you didn’t even experience. I had at least thought you were an oldster who had lost his shirt over the NEP.
            Nice try though. Internet cranks frequently attempt to make others prove or disprove their case for them. The evidence for Trudeau[ and against] is widely avalailble at any decent bookstore and not all of it is from liberal sources. I’ll go so far as to direct you to a a well argued piece from Conrad Black[ check the NP archives] if you wish [ hardly a Trudeau junky] making the case for Trudeau turning the separatist argument on its head by making the national debate about individual rights ie., the charter and using the multi cultural club to beat back the ethnocentric stick of the PQ and Johnson.
            Anyway you provide your own sources for why Trudeau was such a train wreck for your imaginary country[ you certainly never lived it]. And try not to quote Barry Cooper or any of the other professional Trudeau haters who inhabit the Calgary school – i’ve heard it all before; they’re entitled to their views, as are you. But i don’t see Cooper and company hiding under silly handles trolling the internet like Banquo’s ghost.

          • Yeah, just as I thought… nothing but useless deflections, empty rhetoric, and hyperbolic attacks based on nothing but mind numbing self importance… just what one would expect from a superficial “Trudeaumaniac”. Just because I wasn’t around to witness the destructive, little nazi sympathizer distort Canada and it’s institutions beyond recognition surely doesn’t exclude me from passing judgement on his reign of destruction. I couldn’t care less what Conrad Black thinks of Trudeau… you are the one that stated trudeau was a “great man” and all you can do to prove this specious assertion of “greatness” is to quote some convicted felon… LOL! The preposterous claims of Trudeau making the case for “individual rights” in his imposed Charter is absurdly hilarious, and shows a complete ignorance of the imposed Charter’s intent and outcome. Lets face it, you’re an intellectually stunted “trudeaumaniac” because you have somehow benefitted from the Imposition of “group rights” in Pierre’s imposed Charter, group rights that consistently and deliberately over-ride the rights of the individual, as you know, but refuse to admit because of your tribal benefit. The fact that you couldn’t come up with even one reason to back up your absurd assertion that Trudeau was a “great man” confirms your dishonesty and exposes you as a mindless drone suffering from a Trudeaumania induced cognitive dissonance. I’m in my 30’s and you are clearly in you’re late 60’s or 70’s, but you still haven’t grown up and out of the shallowness of a teenager… you’re like a little girl who has a crush on Justin Beiber, the only difference being that the teenage girl will grow up and out of her teenage fantasies, you on the other hand will never grow up.

          • trudopian; Mommy, why is there french on the Fruit Loops, and the police don’t arrest homos for having bum-sex, and they let brown people live next door?

            tp’s mom: Trudeau! Don’t ever let the world forget that he ruined this once great country. But remember, it’s bad karma looney to wish death him.

          • So looney, may we assume you are a french talking, fruit loops eating “brown person” who enjoys having “bum-sex” with other men? That explains a lot. LOL!!

          • Wrong again. Not there for Trudeaumania,and i’m a white male – no so called group right for me. Didn’t even vote for him. Didn’t even like him initially. Pretty conservative young man me. Unlike you i learned to think outside the box and give up juvenile ethnic/tribal hatreds.

            You’d be entertaining if you weren’t so twisted.Thirty eh! Just a silly little boy. Didn’t hold a decent political opinion myself until hit my 40s.[ and i’m not “clearly” in my 60s/70s. Still a lot to learn and away to go].

            I did provide you with an argument from someone i thought even you might respect – but no you prefer to wallow in your hatred.Where’s your evidence my twisted friend? I already know what you “think” – I couldn’t care less. Nothing will be forthcoming because you have nothing but your own vacuous opinions supported by squat.
            Even you might grow up one day. They say miracles still happen.

          • So you say your on personal Trudeaumania didn’t begin until you “learned to think outside the box”… LOL! You clearly fall into the category of someone who gets dumber with age, a silly old man. “Didn’t hold a decent political opinion myself until hit my 40’s”… well the evidence would suggest that you still don’t. In your bizarre world, hating the distortions and destructions of your God, Pierre, renders someone “twisted”… perhaps I should be arrested for not believing your cult hero was a “great man”. You instinctually revert to superficial diversions in a desperately shallow attempt at not having to speak to your preposterously absurd assertion that Trudeau was a “great man”… “because you have nothing but your own vacuous opinions supported by squat”… There is no miracle waiting for you, you will remain an ignorant little girl well into your 80’s still clinging to your flaccid “great man” opinion based solely on your terminal superficiality and chronic inability to think critically.

          • How many times have i seen this before? Aggressive internet crank parrots back insults and criticism.

            Whatever!

  2. Mr. Dix is doing absolutely the right thing. Too bad the currently elected provincial leaders abdicated responsibility for this issue. It is also ironic that Ms. Polak should criticize him for “taking a position” on a pipeline before the review process is finished given how the federal conservatives have behaved.

  3. “One would think maybe (Dix) should have announced (the review) prior
    to (the NDP) taking a position on the pipeline because, of course, for a
    review to be seen as fair and to be seen as unbiased, you need…not to
    have already taken a position saying you will absolutely oppose the
    project,” she said in an interview.

    “Even if you could put in place processes that protect the
    environmental review from the political opinion…the perception of bias
    in the international community around investment would be present simply
    because he’s already come out and said there is absolutely no way he’s
    going to support this.”

    Like the Federal review has any hope of handing down any decision that might block the pipeline. Harper has gutted all the laws, fired the people who are supposed to do the assessment, and assumed the authority to override any outcome he doesn’t like. At this point, it’s all a sham anyway; why are we wasting taxpayer money when the outcome is a foregone conclusion?

    • Gotta at least pay lip service toward process. Harper’s a fraud who likes to play with a stacked deck. Probably always was and always did.

  4. Yeah it works. Honeywell just figured out a one step methane to ethylene process. IDK the carbon emissions. It has always been annoying that all the newest technologies are trade secrets or patents. It some circumstances I know where this is a market failure. In war the car makers teamed up. Now, there is duplication and a lack of public official knowledge (in other non-neocon countries) of the state of industry. Basically, about 75% of a barrel of oil, and likely natural gas (not sure the coal and bituminen % but likely over 50%) can be eventually, after recycling a bit, be made into polypropylene or polyethylene and other minor plastics inputs. These are precursors for high-performance thermoplastics. I’m not exactly sure where the math is, but if a solar panel or wind turbine is 7-30x low carbon footprint than gasoline or heating/electricity fuels….it doesn’t matter too much the economics of the solar cells or wind turbines (are other green industries too)….if you directly subsidize plastic products you can pay to stop and reverse eventually, AGW. CVD can make products too, but is even more secretive because is not advancing as fast.
    I guess Canadians will at least be able to sell Ontario copper to Chindia after floods and droughts end their market demand for petro. Hudbay is a pure play now.

    • …gasoline is the main fraction to be phased out. Someone oiley just said gas is here to stay until 2050. They lie unless battery R+D thuds. And it doesn’t look like the nanotechnology is going to go away (in non neocon parts of Earth).

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