Terrace wants Enbridge probe

June 09, 2009
Terrace Standard

THE CITY of Terrace is going to examine exactly how the public can take part in a review of a proposed multi-billion pipeline project which would move oil from Alberta to a port at Kitimat for tanker shipment overseas.

The decision last night came in the form of a motion by city councillor Bruce Martindale who said people have told him the $4 billion-plus Enbridge Northern Gateway project requires more study.

“I’m hearing the public, and I’ve been hearing it all week from a number of people…that we need to take another look at…at least the coastal stuff,” he said, referring to tanker traffic that would occur along the
coast and its impact to surrounding communities. “There has to be something else….the public review of the impacts.”

Martindale had originally asked for a public or judicial review of the coastal issues.

“I’m not comfortable unless there is some review of the number of issues out there,” he said. 

Councillor Brad Pollard said he couldn’t support this as what Martindale requested was too vague and not specific enough.

“By just saying a public review to review…‘projects’, I can’t support that,” Pollard said.

Councillor Bruce Bidgood agreed with Pollard, saying that while he appreciated what Martindale was saying and shared his concerns about offshore tankers, he wasn’t exactly sure what kind of review Martindale was requesting.

“Is it possible for us to inquire what vehicles are available for public review for a project like that, to review some of our concerns expressed here?” Bidgood asked. 

Council will decide what role to take after further understanding the kinds of reviews that are available.

Martindale agreed with the decision, saying he was looking for a way to start the discussion on the Gateway project.

Bruce Hill, past project director for the Headwaters Initiative, addressed city council earlier last night on behalf of that group, explaining that the group wants to work with governments to find better ways of regional development, climate change, the environment, and how to build sustainable communities.

“We need to build better, stronger, and more sustainable economy in the North,” he said. 

But the Gateway project is a monumentally bad project, he said in that few permanent jobs would be created and that the risk of spills is too great.

“Yes, there will be benefits to Terrace, but it isn’t going to substantially change our economy,” he said of the small number of jobs overall locals would receive.

And Enbridge’s claim that more tanker traffic would make the coast safer due to a greater emergency response strategy is absurd and irresponsible, he said.

“If you asked the Good Lord to design a coast where it is absolutely impossible to clean up a marine oil spill, this is what it’s going to look like,” he said, pointing to the route along the North coast the tankers
would have to take to take to go in and out of Kitimat.


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