1 Enbridge Northern Gateway | West Coast Environmental Law

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Enbridge Northern Gateway

Why the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is worth celebrating

17 May, 2017

On May 12, 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, for first reading in Parliament. You could say that the Act has been almost half a century in the making. So, is it a win? Keeping in mind the old adage, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” we say yes, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is definitely worth supporting, and celebrating.

This law cements the court victory against Enbridge Northern Gateway and the federal government’s reversal of the project approval last year. With that said, Bill C-48 could be strengthened and there are still opportunities to engage with the Bill through the Parliamentary process.

The imminent federal decision on Northern Gateway…and the oil tanker ban?

14 November, 2016

As the deadline approaches for a federal decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, West Coast Environmental Law Staff Counsel Gavin Smith reflects on his meetings with Ministers to talk about the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban.

West Coast Environmental Law staff counsel Gavin Smith reflects on his meetings with Ministers to talk about the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban

Spills in BC: Will we be ready? Have your say

15 June, 2016

Would BC be ready for a major spill? Now is your chance to have your say.

The Government of BC is changing how we plan for and respond to spills in the province, and is holding a public comment period until June 30, 2016, on its proposed spill planning and response framework. West Coast has collaborated with our friends at Georgia Strait Alliance and Living Oceans Society to publish a backgrounder that can help you make your voice heard on the BC Government’s proposed spill response framework – and you can take action using our online spill response comment tool.

Would BC be ready for a major spill? Now is your chance to have your say.

Province Can't Pass the Buck on Oil Pipelines: BC Supreme Court

14 January, 2016

West Coast has previously suggested that, in spite of the Province of British Columbia’s “tough talk” on oil pipelines, it has been trying to pass the decision-making buck to the federal government’s National Energy Board (NEB).  A year ago, the Gitga’at First Nation and Coastal First Nations (CFN) sought a court declaration that the provincial government was required to make its own decision about whether to issue a provincial Environmental Assessment (EA) Certificate for the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, and to consult with First Nations before doing so. Now, in a judgment released January 13, the BC Supreme Court found that, although BC’s Environmental Assessment Act provides BC authority to cooperate with the federal government to avoid duplicating EAs, BC must nonetheless make its own decision about issuing an EA Certificate. What what does that mean for Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan?

West Coast has previously suggested that, in spite of the Province of British Columbia’s “tough talk” on oil pipelines, it has been trying to pass the decision-making buck to the federal government’s National Energy Board (NEB).

Day 6: Judges left to decide fate of Enbridge

9 October, 2015

First Nations and environmental organizations had a chance to make reply submissions before the Federal Court of Appeal today. This six-day hearing was the culmination of thousands of hours of work, mountains of documents, and tremendous displays of community support. Now it is up to the panel of three judges to decide the fate of the Enbridge pipeline. Keep an eye out for the release of the decision sometime in the upcoming months!

The sixth and final day of the Enbridge hearing was as charged and exciting as the first. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) was up first to make submissions on whether or not the Enbridge pipeline is in the ‘public interest’. Neither Canada nor Northern Gateway made submissions on the issue of public interest and instead chose to rely on arguments made by CAPP.

Day 5: Northern Gateway seeks to defend the "gold standard" review process

7 October, 2015

Day 5 of 6 – we are on the home stretch! Today we heard from Northern Gateway about what it labelled the “gold standard” approach to consultation and review for the project as a whole. Counsel for Northern Gateway argued that Northern Gateway went ‘above and beyond’ the legal requirements of the process, at great cost. Join us tomorrow for the last day of the hearing. We will hear about the definition of ‘public interest’ from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Finally, the applicants will have a chance to reply to the arguments we have heard thus far. Looking forward to it!

Day 5 of 6. A core group of concerned community members persisted in the courtroom and listened intently to the dynamic exchanges between the judges and counsel for the Respondents. The judges started the day by addressing Northern Gateway’s last minute attempt to introduce fresh evidence. The judges unanimously rejected the admission of Northern Gateway’s fresh evidence and questioned the relevance of this evidence this late in the Court proceedings.  

Day 1 of Enbridge hearings: #UnitedAgainstEnbridge in the courtroom and on the streets

1 October, 2015

Four First Nations made their case in front of the Federal Court of Appeal today while hundreds rallied outside to show their support and express opposition to the Enbridge pipeline. Inside the packed courtroom, lawyers presented compelling arguments and answered challenging questions as chanting and drumming could be heard from 8 floors down. Stay tuned for Day 2 of the hearing tomorrow October 2nd. Nak’azdli and Nadleh Whut’en Nations, WCEL’s clients, are getting things started at 9:30am!

Representatives from the Haisla, Haida, Kitasoo Xai’xais, Heiltsuk, Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli, Gitga’at and Gitxaala Nations travelled hundreds of kilometers to attend proceedings in front of the Federal Court of Appeal from October 1st – October 8th. These eight First Nations are challenging the federal government’s approval of the Enbridge pipeline and oil tanker project on the grounds that the federal government violated First Nations rights.

Canada's Enbridge decision: An annotated guide

19 June, 2014

If you've read the federal government's June 17 press release about Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal, you might be wondering what it all means.  Here's our quick (multi-media) take on it. 

If you've read the federal government's June 17 press release about Enbridge's pipelines and tankers proposal (AKA Northern Gateway), you might be wondering what it all means.  Here's our quick take on it.  The presentation below takes about 7 minutes and you can start by pressing the play button in the bottom left corner of the frame.

Wanted: strong provincial action to protect our coast and rivers from tar sands oil

9 May, 2013

On Earth Day (April 22nd) we joined many other environmental organizations in applauding Adrian Dix and the NDP for standing up for our coast, and expressing opposition to the expansion of the KinderMorgan Pipeline. Although the NDP’s position is a bit less precise than the BC Green platform (which pledges to “Reject any expansion of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver“), it is a clear indication of where the party stands. It is sometimes said that the federal government has the ultimate say on the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan Pipelines and Tankers Projects.  But the reality is that the province has a strong and legitimate interests in respect of both proposals, and has the legal power to protect many of BC’s resources from such projects. 

On Earth Day (April 22nd) we joined many other environmental organizations in applauding Adrian Dix and the NDP for standing up for our coast, and expressing opposition to the expansion of the KinderMorgan Pipeline.  We were pleased to see similar language in the NDP’s platform, released shortly therafter:

[I]n regards to the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, we do not believe the Port of Vancouver should be converted into a major oil export facility.

5 rules for a science-based decision on the Enbridge Pipelines

13 August, 2012

Prime Minister Harper was in Vancouver on August 7 and took the opportunity to tell Canadians that any decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project would be made through an “independent process” and on the basis of science, not politics. The Prime Minister is not technically correct in implying that his cabinet will not be “picking and choosing particular projects”.  However, if Prime Minister Harper is serious about a science-based decision on pipelines – even if Cabinet makes the ultimate decision – here are 5 rules that we think need to be in place:

Prime Minister Harper was in Vancouver on August 7 and took the opportunity to tell Canadians that any decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project would be made through an “independent process” and on the basis of science, not politics.

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