Canada | Environment

First Nations prepared for battle over pipeline through territory






The graphic from the Canadian Press shows the route of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline from Alberta through British Columbia and to the Pacific Ocean. Larger Image

First Nations in British Columbia are preparing for a major battle over a $7.9 billion pipeline that was approved by the Canadian government on Tuesday.

The 731-mile Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline crosses aboriginal lands in B.C. on its way from Alberta to the Pacific Ocean. Native leaders and activists say they will stage protests and go to court to block the project.

"This project, and the federal process to approve it, violated our rights and our laws. We are uniting to defend our lands and waters of our respective territories," read a statement from dozens of First Nations and Native organizations. "Our rights and laws compel us to act."

The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel is requiring the developer to comply with 209 conditions for the pipeline. Enbridge Inc must also reach agreements with First Nations and the company said it has done so with a number of Native communities.

"From the start, our first priority has been safety and the protection of the environment. It is what all Canadians expect of us and it is what we expect of ourselves," Al Monaco, Enbridge's president and CEO, said in a press release. "Northern Gateway is benefiting greatly from the input and engagement of communities along the right-of-way, Aboriginal communities and numerous technical experts in making this a truly world-class project."

Get the Story:
First Nations leaders prepared to fight Northern Gateway pipeline (The Globe and Mail 6/18)
Northern Gateway: Ottawa’s green light for Enbridge has many in B.C. seeing red (CBC 6/18)
Conservative MPs defend Northern Gateway pipeline decision (The Ottawa Citizen 6/18)
Northern Gateway: Coastal First Nations promise to keep fighting (The Vancouver Sun 6/17)
Northern Gateway pipeline approved with 209 conditions (CBC 6/17)
Canada OKs oil pipeline to the Pacific Coast (AP 6/17)
Despite OK, Northern Gateway pipeline to B.C. coast still faces hurdles (The Victoria Times-Colonist 6/17)