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REPORTING · 3rd April 2014
Walter McFarlane
Following a presentation from Enbridge, Murray Minchin got up and addressed Council about the plebiscite. He wanted to read some of the conditions to Council.

He went through one of the conditions that the proponent must file with Service Canada before using temporary foreign workers for project construction.

The next one was: “Immediately after a catastrophic event, sales of project assists used to transport hydrocarbons for assurance instrument in the financial services plan unless Northern Gateway plans to abandon the facilities rather than continuing to use them in operating the project,” said Minchin.

He said it was an interesting use of words and stated he thinks it means if they cannot pay insurance claims, they cannot sell the pipeline to pay those debts.

Another one: “The Northern Gateway must file with the NEB for approval, at least before commencing operations, a plan to lead or jointly lead with other government and industry participants a research program regarding the behavior and clean up, including recovery of heavy oils spilled in fresh water including marine environments,” said Minchin.

He pointed out all the NEB wanted was a plan.

“That’s pretty stringent stuff, this late into the game. All the NEB is looking for is a plan. If we’re voting on the conditions, as they stand right now, if anybody has a problem with one of these conditions, the way the Plebiscite is worded, those people should be voting no, on the Plebiscite,” said Minchin.

During the hearings, Enbridge calculated it would take 2 million litres would go from Hunter Creek to the Kitimat River estuary. Enbridge’s Spill responder stated by the time they had gathered the people and resources together, it would take them 4 hours to show up, while the Kitimat River is polluted.

“The Kitimat River is essentially, a sacrificial river,” said Minchin.

There are 20,000 vessels coming to Kitimat, but because they have to come and go, this is 40,000 vessels coming and going to Kitimat. Enbridge has stated they are going to try and reduce vessel strikes.

Douglas Channel Watch was not given a firm answer about leak detection because the system has to be in place before they can find out how sensitive the detection would be.

He encouraged people to pay attention to the language because it lists significant environmental effects, a super tanker going down or a full rupture. He compared it to dropping a smart bomb on a baby hospital and calling it collateral damage.