The Vancouver Sun reports, “The Northern Gateway pipeline won’t likely meet its 2017 target to begin shipments – if it gets off the ground at all, retired British Columbia Conservative Senator Pat Carney said Thursday. …’The communities that benefit are not the communities that will pay’ if there is a major oil spill on the BC coast, Carney, 76, said. ‘That is the overriding key for me.’ …The principal problem, she said, is that first nations along the pipeline route are the ones that stand to benefit economically, while aboriginals along the coast should expect no major economic benefit but face potentially the greatest risk if there’s a significant spill. …(She adds), ‘You can’t just bulldoze your way from the oilsands to the coast… I can certainly say that if it’s built at all, it’ll be on a much longer time frame than they contemplate.'”
“Carney held both the energy and trade portfolios under the Tory government of Brian Mulroney in the 1980s. As energy minister, she dismantled the controversial National Energy Program after Mulroney took power in 1984.” As trade minister she helped to negotiate the first Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. “She said Enbridge Inc.’s megaproject faces challenges relating to economics, environmental concerns, well-organized protests backed by Hollywood stars, and aboriginal land claims issues.”
“Numerous media reports have suggested the dozens of first nations in northern BC are overwhelmingly opposed to the project, though Enbridge has indicated that a ‘significant’ number are in negotiations and are interested in the package of economic benefits on offer. However, among the strongest opponents are first nations along the coast where tanker traffic will pass by en route to and from the port in Kitimat, where oil tankers will dock to load the bitumen flowing from the 1,177-kilometre pipeline from Bruderheim, Alta.”
“Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway acknowledged that first nations with land or title claims on or close to the pipeline route – about 36 of the 52 the company is trying to engage with – are being offered the strongest benefit package. The company is negotiating the payment of taxes to first nations depending on where their land is located, and all 36 are being offered attractive loans to buy an equity stake in the pipeline. The remaining 16, which don’t have land close to the pipeline route or port, are being offered both individual and collective benefits related to construction and operation of Northern Gateway, according to Stanway.”
The Council of Canadians is now preparing to take on the fight against the Northern Gateway pipeline, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11900.