Alberta election last nail in Northern Gateway coffin: Cullen

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says NDP sweep of Alberta election means good things for those opposed to pipeline plan

Nathan Cullen introduces his Bill C-628 in Ottawa last year.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen says if the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project wasn’t dead before the NDP sweep of the Alberta provincial election, it is now.

NDP leader Rachel Notley led her party to an historic victory in this week’s provincial election, overturning decades of Progressive Conservative rule, and promising her majority government would bring change to Alberta.

Part of that change is her stance on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which as proposed would transport heavy crude from Alberta to a terminal in Kitimat where it would then be shipped to eastern markets.

Notley knocked out PC premier Jim Prentice, who resigned not only the party leadership but also his seat.

Before becoming leader of the PCs, Prentice had been tasked with shoring up support for Northern Gateway. The controversial pipeline was approved by the federal government nearly a year ago, subject to 209 conditions, and the company has been working towards meeting those conditions.

“Rachel Notley was elected in with a strong majority government on a mandate to not pursue the Northern Gateway pipeline,” said Cullen. “If this were such an important pipeline and people had great hopes and expectations that would have been very difficult for her to win.”

Enbridge Northern Gateway released a statement to media yesterday saying that the company looks forward to sitting down with the new Alberta government to provide an update on the project and their partnerships with First Nations in Alberta and B.C.

“We share a vision with the new Alberta government for world leading environmental protections for energy projects,” read the statement. “We believe that our vision for this project will earn the support of the new government and we look forward to this dialogue.”

Cullen said he doesn’t know what else it will take for the company to give up its pipeline plans.

“This is another nail in the coffin. Enbridge, if they don’t know that, then they’re not very bright – and we know they’re bright because they hire a lot of expensive people,” he said.

And Cullen thinks the company should spend more time pursuing projects that have the endorsement and support of First Nations, citing preliminary plans between Enbridge and Kitselas to explore geothermal opportunities on Kitselas territory near the Lakelse hot springs.

“Why fight against communities,” he said. “Why not work with us?”

The election of Notley and an NDP government in Alberta “changes the conversation” on energy in Canada, said Cullen. Over the past several months Cullen campaigned on his private members bill, which, along with banning supertankers off the north coast, focussed on a value-added energy plan – something Notley speaks of as well.

“She’s also suggested that value-added is very important to changing the math on these pipelines – changing the risk and reward with these pipelines,” he said. “Getting away from one pipeline or another… broadening the conversation.”

Cullen speaks in the House of Commons May 6:

 

Just Posted

Construction on Upper Skeena Arena going smoothly after a tough winter

Pilot project to train indigenous young people for recreation leadership position underway

Firefighters work 10 hours on Telkwa house fire

Tough conditions kept Smithers and Telkwa firefighters busy at fire with no injuries.

Victim wants women to come forward

Reporting sex assaults helps police track down criminals.

SSS students celebrate Pride

Smithers Secondary School holds its second annual Pride Day celebration.

Bulkley River still dangerous

The Bulkley River has been downgraded to high streamflow advisory, and people are asked to stay off.

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

Most Read