Alberta - B.C. Gateway

The Rockies mark the great divide between B.C. and Alberta, but the great divide between the provinces this year may be over a resource. Many Albertans would like a pipeline to take the products of the oilsands to the coast, and many people in British Columbia would not like that at all. The hearings are about to begin and it will be a long time, if ever, before the Northern Gateway project is shovel ready -- but both sides are already digging in.



Part Two of The Current

Alberta - B.C. Gateway - Mayor of Edson, Alberta

The real battle over the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline begins this morning, as public hearings get underway in northern B.C.

The three panelists on the project's Joint Review Panel will spend more than a year examining if the pipeline meets requirements under the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Acts.

More than 45-hundred Canadians have applied to speak as the panel travels along the pipeline route from Kitimat in the west, to Edmonton in the east. It's shaping up to be an Alberta versus British Columbia fight, as environmental groups and First Nations line up against Alberta-based oil companies and municipalities.
We heard from the mayor of Whitecourt, Alberta, Trevor Thain. Whitecourt, Alberta is one of the communities along the proposed pipeline route.

John Carruthers is president of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. It's headquartered in Calgary and is set to transport oilsands products from northern Alberta to the coast. We aired a clip from from John Carruthers of Enbridge.

But while support for the project is solid in Alberta, business groups in British Columbia are mostly on the fence or just opposed. Today, The Current travels along Northern Gateway's path, speaking with business people along the way.

We started in Edson, Alberta. Greg Pasychny is the part-time mayor of Edson. He also works part-time for his family's Ford dealership. And he chairs the Grande Alberta Economic Region, which represents 12 municipalities in western Alberta, including Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt and Fox Creek, all of which would be directly affected by the pipeline.

Alberta - B.C. Gateway - Central Interior Logging Association

Bill Eynon lives at the other end of the line, in Kitimat, B.C., where the bitumen would be loaded into tankers for shipment to Asian markets. He's president of the Kitimat Terrace Industrial Development Society. It's one of the few business voices in northern B.C. speaking out in favour of Northern Gateway. Eynon says the area desperately needs the jobs, but admits the pipeline is a hard sell.

The Current is traveling along the proposed route of the pipeline today, as public hearings begin into whether the project is economically and environmentally feasible. The pipeline route travels just north of where Mary Anne Arcand lives.
She is executive director of the Central Interior Logging Association in Prince George, B.C. She represents the road builders and logging companies which would clear the pipeline's right of way. But her members are not lobbying in favour of the project.

Alberta - B.C. Gateway - Mayor of Smithers, B.C.

If the Gateway project gets the go ahead it will run right through Smithers, B.C. Its main industries are forestry and mining. The pipeline was a hot issue in the recent municipal election. Taylor Bachrach ran for mayor opposing the pipeline. And he won. Mayor Bachrach joined us from Smithers B.C.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel hearings begin this morning in Kitimat B.C.

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