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NEWS: Public hearings on Enbridge pipeline to start January 2012

The Calgary Herald reports, “Public hearings on the (Enbridge pipeline) project have been set by the National Energy Board for January and June 2012, leading Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel to expect a decision by the regulator by early 2013.”

Today, “Aboriginal groups in Western Canada have united against a proposed bitumen pipeline to British Columbia’s northern coast, saying the $5.5-billion Northern Gateway project has no future without the approval of communities along the route. The Yinka Dene Alliance, representing aboriginal communities along a quarter of the Enbridge pipeline project in B.C., were in Calgary Wednesday to attend the company’s annual meeting and argue the threat of oil spills on traditional lands and in the ocean outweigh any benefit the project could have.”

“Alberta’s Alexander and Lubicon First Nations, Blood Tribe and Manitoba’s Roseau River Anishinabe First Nations joined the Alliance at a news conference, prior to walking through downtown Calgary to the company’s headquarters.”

Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation said, “We were not there to negotiate. We were there to deliver a message that this project does not have our consent. We asked them to look in good conscience at this project and how it would affect us, and we told them what those effects were.”
The news report adds, “Earlier Wednesday, Enbridge chief executive Pat Daniel expressed optimism that Ottawa agreed with the company’s vision. ‘The Conservative government has understood the very important strategic value of Gateway to this country and we’re very appreciative of that and we would hope to continue to win their support by showing that we can safely and effectively develop the Gateway pipeline project,’ Daniel told analysts during a conference call Wednesday morning.”

Edmonton-based Council of Canadians Prairies organizer Scott Harris travelled to Calgary for this protest. Look for his blog report shortly.