For Immediate Release – November 19, 2013
DOUGLAS CHANNEL WATCH RESPONSE TO JRP NORTHERN GATEWAY RECOMMENDATION
Douglas Channel Watch (DCW) appreciates the professionalism and support shown our group by the NEB/ CEEA Joint Review Panel and its staff during Enbridge’s Northern Gateway review process. We disagree with the panel, however, that diluted bitumen pipelines or supertankers can be operated safely on BC’s north coast. We also adamantly believe that Enbridge is incapable of meeting the Panels conditions.
DCW believes that due to geologic and weather related hazards, there are no safe routes for liquid petroleum pipelines through the Coast Mountains on BC’s north coast. We also support Coastal First Nations and communities on BC’s north coast in their seeking a ban on oil supertankers calling on north coast BC ports.
British Columbians, Canadians, and concerned people from around the world made 9,500 written statements to the Panel, 96% of which opposed the project. Of the 1,161 citizens who made oral statements to the Panel, only 2 supported the proposal.
When people are given an accurate account of the probability of land based spills and the consequences if diluted bitumen finds a watercourse, as well as an accurate description of navigational hazards to supertankers in Hecate Strait and the approaches to Douglas Channel from Camaano Sound to Whale Channel, the majority will oppose this project. Surveys or polls conducted by organizations supportive of the project, using people who’s main source of information is from Enbridge or tar sands industry ad campaigns, and ignores marine risks, are meaningless.
It must be remembered that this proposal is for 525,000 barrels (82 million litres) of diluted bitumen per day, but the design capacity is for 850,000 barrels (135 million litres) per day, which Enbridge admits they will apply for at a later date. This means 225 supertankers per year would become 364, and both supertanker and pipeline spill estimates would increase, in both size and effect.
It is not our fault that Alberta is in debt. It is not our fault that Alberta has increased production in the tar sands without first ensuring there was a means to move those increases. It is mind-boggling to hear of diesel shortages in Alberta while the Alberta and Federal Governments push so hard to export unrefined bitumen.
British Columbia’s Fraser, Skeena, and Kitimat River watersheds, it’s near pristine north coast marine environment, First Nations culture and food fishing, as well as tens of thousands of commercial fishers, sport fishers, tourism industry workers, and British Columbia as a whole should not have to shoulder the risk for that mismanagement.
Douglas Channel Watch believes it will be the First Nations of British Columbia who have the firmest legal ground to contest this project, and we pledge to support them in the many years they will be fighting those battles through the courts.
If Prime Minister Harper tries to force this project through using his dictatorial grasp on Canadian democracy, even if he goes so far as constitutional override, Douglas Channel Watch vows to stand shoulder to shoulder with First Nations, and the thousands of others who will raise a wall of opposition to this project .
We will keep north coast BC bitumen free.
Who: Douglas Channel Watch was formed by Kitimat and Terrace BC residents concerned about Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal, and had intervenor status in the Northern Gateway review process.