Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says he is shocked and “deeply disappointed” with a federal panel’s decision on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
The Joint Review Panel recommended today (December 19) that the federal government approve the project, subject to 209 conditions.
“I don’t think that the 209 conditions will in any way, shape or form mitigate a disastrous tanker spill or catastrophic pipeline rupture somewhere in the mountains of northern British Columbia,” Phillip told the Straight by phone.
“I just can’t believe that the Joint Review Panel would have given this project the green light.”
Phillip predicted that today’s decision will lead to a “groundswell of anger and frustration”, and a re-emergence of the Idle No More movement.
“This has been one of the most high-profile public issues here in the province of British Columbia, and all of the various groups that have expressed grave concerns about this project have made it abundantly clear that they’re prepared to engage in legal action,” he stated.
“I think the only winner today is the legal profession itself, because I imagine there’s a lot of calls being made to lawyers.”
The proposed Northern Gateway project would transport oil from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.