Joint letter to PM Trudeau re: Northern Gateway Project extension request

Link to pdf of letter

May 19, 2016

Prime Minister Trudeau
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

As community groups and environmental organizations that have been working for many years to protect British Columbia from the risks posed by Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal, we offer our strongest possible support for your leadership in affirming that the north coast, including the Great Bear Rainforest, is no place for oil pipelines and tankers. We write to urge your government to act on those commitments by rejecting Northern Gateway’s recent request to extend its federal approval.

In the face of extensive opposition, Northern Gateway has not been able to meet the condition in its federal certificate requiring that it obtain supply contracts, and consequently Northern Gateway’s approval is due to expire at the end of 2016. In response, Northern Gateway has asked the National Energy Board (NEB) to extend the expiry date on its federal certificate by three years until the end of 2019. 1

Northern Gateway is arguing that the NEB can approve its extension request without the need to obtain the approval of Cabinet. We believe this is incorrect, and we fully agree with the legal analysis that the Haisla have filed with the NEB to set out that Cabinet has decision-making authority over any direction by the NEB to extend Northern Gateway’s federal approval. This is also consistent with public statements made by NEB spokeswoman Sarah Kiley that Cabinet approval would be required for an extension of Northern Gateway’s certificate. 2

We ask that the federal government intervene on this important issue by making a submission to the NEB confirming that Cabinet has the final say over an NEB direction to extend Northern Gateway’s certificate. Furthermore, we urge Cabinet to reject any extension of Northern Gateway’s certificate on the basis that it would be inconsistent with your direction in Ministerial Mandate Letters to the Honourable Marc Garneau and the Honourable Hunter Tootoo to “formalize the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast, including the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.” 3

Once again we applaud your government for its commitment to formalizing a north coast oil tanker ban, a commitment that should be furthered and reinforced by taking action to prevent Northern Gateway from extending its federal approval.


Friends of Wild Salmon Coalition 
Contact - Pat Moss,

T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation
Contact – Luanne Roth,

Prince Rupert Environmental Society
Contact – Charles Justice,

United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union – Unifor
Contact – Joy Thorkelson,

Haida Gwaii CoAST
Contact – Valine Crist,

Pacific Wild
Contact – Ian McAlister,

Douglas Channel Watch
Contact –Cheryl Brown,

Contact – Greg Knox,

NorthWest Watch
Contact – Anne Hill,

Friends of Morice Bulkley
Contact – Dawn Remington,

Fort St. James Sustainability Group
Contact – Brenda Gouglas,

Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance
Contact – Nadia Nowak,

West Coast Environmental Law Association
Contact – Jessica Clogg,

Sierra Club B.C.
Contact – Bob Peart,

Dogwood Initiative
Contact – Kai Nagata,


Hon. Marc Garneau
Hon. Hunter Tootoo
Hon. Catherine McKenna
Hon. James Carr
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould

1 NEB Filing A76761



Back to News index page