Close call for council for Enbridge vote

Published: October 12, 2010 11:00 PM
Terrace city councillors are divided in their support of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project.

B.C. municipalities passed two resolutions at the Union of BC Municipalities’ annual convention in Whistler earlier this month, which called for a moratorium on the transport by tanker of crude oil on the north coast, and the other opposing tar sands oil being shipped in pipelines across northern B.C. for loading onto crude oil tankers.

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway’s $5.5 billion proposed pipeline project would carry the oil from Alberta to a marine export terminal at Kitimat.

Councillor Lynne Christiansen voted alongside the majority of municipal councillors who opposed Enbridge’s planned Northern Gateway oil pipeline project and use of tankers to ship the project overseas.

And while councillor Bruce Martindale did not attend the convention, he agreed with Christiansen’s vote if councillors were able to vote freely.

“I definitely would have voted in favour of both of those motions,” he said, adding that he is opposed to having tanker traffic in Hecate Strait, and opposed to shipping raw crude out of the tar sands.

“I am absolutely, on principle, opposed to this project,” he said.

But he said once council decides on something, he will support that stance, as council has to be united.

“What the mayor did…is consistent with the council’s stance on Enbridge,” he said. “We’ve all along said we should allow the (environmental review) process to go through.”

And that was how mayor Dave Pernarowski explained his votes opposing the two resolutions submitted by the Queen Charlottes, saying he was not in favour of making recommendations to the province before the Joint Review Panel process is complete.

Councillor Brian Downie agreed with Pernarowski, saying that all of the information has yet to be studied and evaluated.

Councillor Brad Pollard also opposed the resolutions, saying he might have supported it if the wording had been different.

For example, he said, in regards to the tar sands oil resolution, while he does support the premise of reducing tar sands oil reliance, the resolutions only say that UBCM oppose the oil being shipped out of northern B.C.; it does not say anything about shipping it out of other areas like Vancouver.

In terms of tanker traffic on the north coast, he said he does not support any type of non-time-limited moratorium, as technology can change.

Councillor Carol Leclerc attended the convention but did not vote on the resolutions as she was not present at that time.

“That’s a tricky one,” she said when asked how she would have voted. “Because the Queen Charlottes are our neighbours and we like to support our neighbours…but we have to be careful about the message that we’re giving.”

She said she doesn’t know how she would have voted, saying she has to think about it a bit more.

Councillor Bruce Bidgood, who did not attend the convention, was not available for comment.

Back to News index page