Nature Canada’s involvement in the Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings

I received this update from Nature Canada about the Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings:

Hi Eldy,

I promised to keep you updated on Nature Canada’s involvement in the Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings.

Nature Canada is an official intervener, with its partner BC Nature, at the Northern Gateway hearings. Your support has helped us raise serious concerns about this controversial project.

As you will remember, the Northern Gateway Pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the BC coast. Straight through the Great Bear Rainforest, home to the endangered spirit bear. Endangered whales will share the waters with giant oil tankers. And the threat of oil spills looms over 30 Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

Enbridge says the project poses little threat to the pristine wilderness of British Columbia, even as they attempt to explain spills like the one in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Caribou will be fine, they say. Birds will be fine, they say.

We have evidence to the contrary. And we sent our experts to the hearings to present our evidence. Our presence was critical, and thank you for standing with us.

We were able to uncover the weak science Enbridge used in their endangered woodland caribou risk assessment. For example:

  • Enbridge relied on just a single source — an unpublished, non-peer-reviewed slide show on Yukon Caribou — to make its risk assessment, an error that some observers say “might just be enough to sink the project.” (Globe and Mail, Nov. 11, 2012)
  • Enbridge used data on caribou mortality in winter for their research, but failed to consider summer mortality, which recent literature clearly shows is the more significant measure.
  • We fought successfully to have new caribou research entered into evidence that “raises urgent questions about the fate of caribou, wolves and the Gateway Pipeline” (Globe and Mail, Nov. 18, 2012).

Nature Canada will continue to take vigorous action to raise awareness and confront industry and government.

In fact, on February 4, we will return to Prince Rupert to question Enbridge about the risk of oil spills to BC’s marine life.
It’s simple. When you move oil, you spill oil. It’s not a question of if a spill will occur — it’s a question of when. This is still a fight we need to win.

Yours for nature,

Ian Davidson
Executive Director
Nature Canada

Today’s “stone” is  Day 28  blustering winds, great heaving sighing pines, drifting snow, nature powerful

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