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REPORTING · 2nd April 2015
Walter McFarlane
MP Nathan Cullen’s Bill to Protect the Pacific Northwest was defeated on April 1st, in the House of Commons. The bill was defeated with 120 votes in favour and 141 votes against. He explained all the Conservative members voted against it, as did one Block member and one neutral member.

“Even those [Conservatives] from British Columbia didn’t see the value in voting with British Columbia and against their leader, their Prime Minister who had obviously put some pressure on them,” said Cullen. “This is after 10 months of work and ten years saga dealing with Enbridge Northern Gateway.”

He explained the bill would have protected the North Coast from bulk oil transportation, requiring the support of the government to move it, upgrade Canada’s Oil Supply by adding value and changing the National Energy Board. He pointed out no one believes in the Energy Board anymore as it was changed during the Enbridge hearings. Cullen told reporters the bill would have changed the public consultation to make it more respectful. It was about more than the Enbridge Project.

Cullen stated he held 40 town hall meetings across British Columbia to talk about the bill. In conservative ridings, there was an out pouring of constituents. He expressed there was pressure placed on the Conservative party members by these people.

He said he is disappointed because it did not pass. However, the response during the discussions about value added oil and improving Canada’s democracy when it comes to consultation left him hopeful for the future.

“The next place this goes is to the ballot box in 2015 in the fall when British Columbians and Canadians go to the polls to choose the next government. Certainly in British Columbia, Pipelines will be on the ballot and on one side you will have the conservatives who believe that public consultation shouldn’t mean anything and that rip and ship is the best strategy and that these dangerous pipelines are the way to go and on the other side, you will have New Democrats and Progressive British Columbians thinking otherwise,” said Cullen.

He argued the process of giving away Canada’s unprocessed natural resources was bad for the economy. Similarly, an oil spill would threaten the Salmon economy in the Northwest. He expressed the politics around oil pipelines were toxic and he could make arguments for both economic and environmental fronts. He added the money from oil comes from processing it, not shipping it overseas raw.

“Where the Prime Minister does really badly is in creating jobs. What we’ve known from the beginning is this type of approach to oil, raw export, rip and ship doesn’t create any jobs and, in fact, bleeds jobs out of the Canadian Economy,” said Cullen.

Cullen expressed Canada has not built an upgrader in some time and the Canadian Economy has to produce value added resources in order to remain strong. He said the Canadian Government is moving in the opposite direction, which is crushing the middle class and will leave Canada in a mess.

When asked by the media where the refineries could be, he explained it would be up to the experts. In addition, placing a refinery should be about the surrounding communities weighing the risks and the benefits to their homes and finding a balance they could live with.
Comment by JT on 11th April 2015
Where were you when the Forest Industry in YOUR OWN RIDING went for crap. Value added product? I've never heard one single word come from your mouth about the raw logs being shipped out of YOUR OWN RIDING! You're right though, it is time for change. In all your time in office, YOUR OWN RIDING has lost Jobs, Schools, Hospital services etc. Oh, but at least you've got your MILLION DOLLAR PENSION. Time for change indeed.
40 town hall meetings?
Comment by Time for a change on 3rd April 2015
Time for a change. Lets try an MP that can do something for us besides saying no. 40 Town hall meetings around BC, who paid? His riding is Skeena and should spend his time here not galavanting around the Province.