By Anthony Capkun
June 17, 2014 – Enbridge Inc. announced today that—pursuant to the Joint Review Panel’s (JRP) recommendation—the Northern Gateway Project has received Governor in Council (GIC) approval by the Canadian federal government. (The JRP’s recommendation was subject to 209 conditions.)
“Enbridge and our partners in the Northern Gateway Project welcome today’s decision. The Joint Review Panel recommendation and the GIC approval are important milestones and reflect years of work by all stakeholders,” said Enbridge president and CEO, Al Monaco. “However, we have more work ahead of us. The decision is one more step in the process; a process that requires a considered and respectful approach with our stakeholders.”
“New markets for our products will create and support more jobs, and generate increased revenue to help pay for vital public services like quality health care and education for all Canadians,” said Alberta Premier Dave Hancock.
Monaco went on to say Enbridge will focus on three priorities: meeting the JRP’s conditions; working with the Province of B.C. on its five conditions for supporting oil pipelines; and continuing to engage Aboriginal communities “to build further trust and seek additional input that would make the project even better”.
“Natural resource development is central to a prosperous and competitive province, and projects like Northern Gateway promise to play a vital role in the growth of our economy,” noted Manley McLachlan, president of the British Columbia Construction Association. “More importantly, they will provide improved employment opportunities and enhanced training resources to our membership across Northern B.C.”
“From the start, our first priority has been safety and the protection of the environment,” added Monaco. “Today’s decision and the work of the JRP confirm that the project can be built and operated safely, and that it’s in Canada’s national interest.”
The JRP acknowledged the potential economic benefits of Northern Gateway on local, regional and national economics would be positive and, likely, significant, added Enbridge.
“In the broader context, opening new markets for our energy resources is critical for all Canadians. It will mean a major boost to our provincial and national economies. It will create jobs and result in new tax revenues for communities and governments to support social programs and infrastructure,” said Monaco. “Importantly, Northern Gateway will involve Aboriginal communities as owners and partners in the project, and it provides meaningful training, job and business opportunities in communities along the right-of-way.”
Northern Gateway is the first pipeline project to be approved to enable Canada to diversify markets for its crude oil and achieve full-market-value pricing, notes Enbridge. With the project, Canadian producers will have greater access to the markets in the Asia Pacific Rim.