The Harper government is actively supporting the construction of a new pipeline to take tar sands bitumen from Alberta to the BC coast and load it onto supertankers destined for Asia. The Enbridge ‘Northern Gateway’ pipeline proposal is now going through public hearings before the National Energy Board, but before the process had even started, federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver wrote an open letter labelling opponents of the plan “radical groups” seeking “to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”
The tar sands are the fastest rising source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and their rapid development has devastated the air, water, forest and land in Northern Alberta. Filling the Enbridge pipeline would clear a path for even more expansion.
The pipeline would cross 1,000 streams and rivers, many of which are key habitat for salmon and other species. It would pass through the unceded traditional territory of dozens of BC First Nations and the Great Bear Rainforest – the last intact temperate rainforest in the world. Enbridge has, on average, a record of one spill every week from its pipelines between 1999-2008.
Once the pipeline reached the coast, it would fill 200 supertankers per year. These tankers, each carrying more toxic crude than the Exxon Valdez, would pass through one of the trickiest marine routes in Canada every year.
Every step on this path is a disaster waiting to happen. We need you to add your voice to the growing chorus of voices saying no to the tar sands and to this pipeline.