BC woman files complaint against Enbridge for misleading promotional videos

Graphics by Lori Waters showing disparities between the Enbridge promotional video's version of the Douglas Channel and reality. Source: Facebook.

A Vancouver Island resident who designs scientific graphics filed a formal complaint today against Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. for promotional videos for the proposed Northern Gateway project which omitted more than 1000 square kilometres of islands along the proposed Northern Gateway tanker route.

Lori Waters filed her complaints to the federal Competition Bureau. On Monday she made a corrected graphic showing the omissions, and uploaded them on Facebook where they quickly spread via Facebook shares. 

Waters has a graduate degree specializing in scientific animation and owns a biomedical communications company.

A video by corporate watchdog non-profit SumofUs and progressive politics coalition LeadNow using Waters' graphics. Source: YouTube.

"What Enbridge has done is to distort the maps in its promotional videos to erase numerous islands and twisting passages so that tanker route appears much safer than it is," Waters said in a release. "The fact is that the illustration is deceptive and that's why I'm asking for a formal investigation."

The disputed videos were key promotional pieces for Enbridge's pipeline project.

Watch: The first and second original videos

Since Wednesday, Enbridge removed the erroneous image from one of their videos, and making the existing disclaimer more prominent in another.

"That video is meant to be for illustrative purposes only. It's not meant to be to scale. It's meant to illustrate the pipeline route, not the marine aspects of the operation," Enbridge spokesman Todd Nogier said yesterday in The Victoria Times Colonist. "There's a disclaimer at the end because it's really clear this is meant to be illustrative."

SumOfUs, a watchdog organization for corporate accountability, posted the graphic online with a petition to Enbridge asking them to take the videos down from their website.

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The real Douglas Channel

As an Ontario resident, very concerned about the eventual ecological damage from the Northern Gateway pipeline, I would really like to see video clips from a boat navigating the channels from Kitimat to Hecate Strait, showing some of the more challenging turns, rocks, shoals, or other hazards, and enabling us to see whether an oil tanker could actually get through the passages. Will Enbridge propose a part 2 project of blasting and dredging to clear a more direct passage?