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COMMENTARY · 21st January 2013
Mark Clements
Dear Editor

As a small business owner in Prince George, there would be an immediate short term benefit to my small business and to my parent’s local company, if Enbridge’s pipeline proposal is approved. However; I can not support the current Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal.

There is simply is not enough payback to the communities for a lifelong environmental hazard.

The Alberta oil companies are losing over two billion dollars in lost revenue a month and Alberta and Federal governments are also losing tens of millions dollars because oil companies cannot get full price for their product.

Right now, Canadian tar sand oil is selling less than 50 dollars a barrel, simply because of the shortage of pipelines coming out Alberta.

Most likely; the projected pipeline to Kitimat’s West Coast is Enbridge’s only plan because it would be too expensive, and too late to restart a new proposal pipeline route. Moreover; other west coast ports that would welcome the huge oil tankers are just not there.

For the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal to be greeted with overwhelming support and excitement from British Columbians, the Oil Companies, Federal government, and Alberta government, should immediately create a six to ten billion dollar environmental and investment incentive fund to support Northern British Columbia.

Or in other words, create a large Northern investment fund to equal about four to six months of lost revenue from the tar sands.

New environmental safeguards with independent northern citizen’s involvement are also needed to ensure the pipeline is being built to the highest standards and the maintenance is kept up.

The pipeline should be dramatically reduced to one pipeline instead of the two that Enbridge is proposing. Enbridge should earn community trust before expanding.

Alberta’s tar sands is truly the investment hub of Canada and I believe Northern townships and Frist Nations communities welcome the opportunity to work with the oil companies to help them sell their product to the highest bidder in the world.

But before this can happen, Harper’s and Redford’s government need to work with the Oil Companies and create an investment opportunity for Northern British Columbia that will be impossible to refuse.

Sincerely Mark Clements
Enbridge pipeline needs more Northern incentives
Comment by L Marchand on 26th February 2013
I agree with the idea that there needs to be more profit sharing in northern BC. The amount is debatable - I think part of the amount Mr Clements mentions should be set aside as an emergency environmental fund, and part of it should be paid into a large fund that would support long-term development in northern communities. That long term development should directly benefit sustainable primary and secondary industries and should direclty benefit communities in both the short term and long term. Call it a legacy and include community development initiatives and skills training for workers. Be careful about supporting tourism development - these jobs are kindof like "mcjobs", i.e. they don't pay nearly well enough. (based on watching what's happening in my community)

As for one pipe versus two pipes - I think if the volume of oil from the oilsands supports two pipes, then both should be installed for economic and environmental reasons.