The BC government's final written submission stated that it cannot support the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal as presented beause Northern Gateway has been "unable to address British Columbians' environmental concerns." This decision comes after a large-scale petition urging Premier Christy Clark not to support the pipeline.
Despite reports that Enbridge would meet the BC Liberal government, Premier Clark's office confirmed that no meeting has occurred yet, and that none was scheduled.
"Northern Gateway has said that they would provide effective spill response in all cases. However, they have presented little evidence as to how they will respond," Lake said in a news release.
"For that reason, our government cannot support the issuance of a certificate for the pipeline as it was presented to the Joint Review Panel."
Lake said the government has carefully considered the evidence presented to the Joint Review Panel, and asked questions about the pipeline route, spill response and financial structure to handle risks. Based on the evidence, however, he said the government "does not believe a certificate (for building the pipeline) should be granted before these important questions are answered," and that Enbridge did not provide satisfactory answers during the hearings.
The Premier has outlined five conditions that need to be met for Northern Gateway to be approved.
- Successful completion of the environmental review process. In the case of Northern Gateway, that would mean a recommendation by the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel that the project proceed;
- World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.'s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs
- of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments;
- World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines;
- Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project; and
- British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy-oil project that reflect the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers.
BC will present oral final arguments to the Joint Review Panel when hearings recommence in Terrace on June 17, based on the final written submission.