It was an expected but devastating decision.
Just minutes ago, the Harper government approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline -- against the wishes of the majority of Canadians.
But here's the thing: there's still time to stop the pipeline. Here’s how:
Enbridge has stated its commitment to renew conversations with First Nations and other communities in the pathway of the pipeline. Before shovels hit the ground, it has promised to address any “remaining concerns” these communities have.
Enbridge hopes it can sweep these conversations under the carpet, just like it’s been doing all along, and push the pipeline forward despite tremendous opposition. If we can hold Enbridge accountable to its promise, we can stop construction before it starts. If Enbridge actually engages in any kind of meaningful consultation, there's no way it will be able to get everyone to support the pipeline.
Tell Enbridge to honour its commitment to First Nations and affected communities, and to build the pipeline only if it gets 100% consent.
Enbridge meddled with the community consultation process leading up to this decision, which is exactly how it was effectively able to push the pipeline project through and win the government’s approval. Now it hopes to appear like the “good guy” who’s righting his wrongs.
But we know that this just another attempt by Enbridge to sugarcoat its plan to build the pipeline, despite the fact that most Canadians are opposed to it: over 130 First Nations, 8 out of 11 communities in the pipeline’s path, and more than ⅔ of all British Columbians have loudly said “NO!”.
Decisions affecting First Nations' rights and title must be made with free, prior and informed consent, and communities in the pipeline’s pathway must also get a say. If they are not on board, the project shouldn’t proceed. End of story.
Enbridge: Honour your promise to respect the rights of First Nations and affected communities - do not start construction without their approval.
Government of Canada's official approval of Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project, June 17th, 2014
“Enbridge to go slow on Northern Gateway in B.C.” The Globe and Mail, May 7, 2014.