Northern Gateway Pipeline

Canada may have one of the largest oil reserves in the world but it is has never exported oil outside North America. The Gateway Pipeline Project would change that ...moving oil from Alberta across B.C. to tankers on its northern coast to Asian markets that would pay more than the U.S. does. But that route travels along fragile ecosystems and right up against the wishes of many Native leaders. So would it be an Economic Opportunity or an Environmental Error?

Part Two of The Current

Northern Gateway Pipeline - Colin Kinsley &

This week on Parliament Hill more than one hundred people were arrested crossing police barricades at a protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline. That pipeline would transport bitumen from the oil sands in northern Alberta to refineries in Texas. And these days, it's the one getting all the attention.

But there's another Canadian pipeline proposal that advocates say is just as significant - and critics say is just as objectionable. Enbridge's $5.5 billion Northern Gateway Pipeline project would extend almost 1,200 kilometres from the oil sands - to tankers waiting on BC's northern coast. The oil would then sail to Asian markets.

At a conference last week, the President and CEO of HSBC Bank Canada Lindsay Gordon stressed the importance of those markets. Quoting Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement that U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is a "no brainer," Mr. Gordon said a pipeline to the West Coast is more important.

Our next guest certainly sees the Northern Gateway project as significant. Colin Kinsley is the former Mayor of Prince George, BC. He's now the Chair of the Northern Gateway Alliance, a group supporting the process that would give the Enbridge pipeline project the green light. Colin Kinsley is paid by Enbridge to head that volunteer group. He was in our Vancouver studio.

And Frank Wolf is an environmental documentary filmmaker who set out to determine how this pipeline would affect ecosystems and communities along its path. For his new film, On The Line, Frank Wolf walked, hiked, cycled and paddled 2,400 kilometres along the proposed pipeline route from the oil sands to Kitimat, on B.C.'s northern coast.

On The Line premieres October 6th at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

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