Government approves Northern Gateway pipeline with 209 conditions

A protestor attends a rally held to show opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 17, 2014. (Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)


Even with the support of the federal government, the promise of protracted court battles and fierce opposition from protest groups suggest the road ahead will be rocky for Enbridge.

"It doesn't serve you well to commit yourself to having a conversation with First Nations when you've made a decision which is essentially holding a gun to our head..."

Art Sterritt, Executive Director of B.C. Coastal First Nations

The federal government may have said yes to the Northern Gateway, but Enbridge faces formidable hurdles. Along with the National Energy Board's 209 conditions, opposition in British Columbia is significant.

The Clark government has its own conditions. There are several lawsuits attempting to block the project in the courts. There are petitions. But those opposed to Northern Gateway also promise a fight on the land -- the kind of civil disobedience that British Columbia saw in the 1990s over Clayoquot Sound.

"This is a great step forward as we look at getting our products to tide market, getting a higher value for return for Albertans and Canadians."

Diana McQueen, Alberta's Energy Minister

To discuss the implications of the pipeline decision, we reached key players among environmentalists, communities, and the Enbridge leadership:

  • Tzeporah Berman is an environmentalist opposed to Northern Gateway. She was also a key organizer of the Clayoquot Sound campaign.
  • Taylor Bachrach is the mayor of Smithers, B.C.
  • John Carruthers is the President of Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines.

We requested interviews with Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, B.C .Premier Christy Clark, and Alberta's Interim Premier Dave Hancock. They were not available.

What are your views on the Northern Gateway pipeline?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Michael O'Halloran and Yvonne Gall.

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