To the Editor,
Re: Risk of oil spill heavy on B.C., Opinion, Aug. 18.
Some writing about the extreme dire risks B.C. will face with the possible building of the Northern Gateway pipeline creates the impression that there have never been any advances made in pipeline or marine transport technology.
I think Alberta Premier Alison Redford understands very well “what the fuss is about”.
And it was B.C. Premier Christy Clark who picked the fight with Alberta, based purely on trying to salvage her political career.
Clark’s apparent ignorance about our federation doesn’t provide much confidence in her commitment to Canada. There are many ways B.C. can benefit from the pipeline, but extortion isn’t one of them.
I also don’t understand comparing the defrauding of Alberta through the defunct National Energy Program, with Redford’s National Energy Strategy.
The NES has yet to be defined and will likely be unworkable anyway since it’s a proposed “national” strategy.
Obviously, shipping oil by sea brings risks to all ports that tankers use including Burnaby for the last 60 years and our East Coast which imports 800,000 barrels of petroleum daily by sea.
But it can’t be denied that past tanker mishaps have resulted in enhanced safety measures and construction improvements that include double hulls and underwater collision avoidance systems.
The claim that “almost all First Nations along the route oppose the pipeline” is true for those still being funded by various wealthy American Foundations, which is another issue. However, I’ve also read many Aboriginal people are willing to undertake training for construction and maintenance jobs on the pipeline, and Enbridge says it has signed deals with 60 per cent of the First Nations along the route. So who should we believe?
Actually, the whole discussion becomes academic if the NDP wins the next B.C. election.
We’ll be on the road to being a “have not” province and will be able to share in Alberta’s wealth through equalization payments just like Quebec and Ontario.