VICTORIA - After attending the Joint Review Panel (JRP) hearings in Prince George, New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming says he's more convinced than ever that potential threats posed by the Enbridge pipeline are too great for British Columbia.
“There are still major questions about the risks posed by the Enbridge pipeline and the B.C. Liberal government has been largely missing in action,” said New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming.
“They clearly have no real plan to stop the pipeline. Environment Minister Terry Lake admitted as much yesterday," said Fleming, referring to comments from Lake that the Liberal government's plan to "withhold the permits without proper reason to do so" could be subject to constitutional challenges.
Fleming noted that this is just one in a series of flawed B.C. Liberal ideas on the Enbridge file.
“In 2010, the Liberals surrendered B.C.’s jurisdictional rights and handed over decision-making power to Ottawa,” said Fleming. “Since then, they’ve utterly failed to find a way to get our province’s say back and they’re further failing the interests of British Columbians by not fully participating in the hearings.”
At the Joint Review Panel hearings in Prince George Thursday, Fleming heard B.C. Nature and Nature Canada questioned about a report on endangered caribou prepared by B.C. government scientists.
Fleming noted that these organizations had to make a special request to the JRP to have the report considered because the B.C. government refused to submit it themselves.
“On top of missing the deadline to submit evidence, the B.C. Liberals are refusing to let their own senior biologist be available to testify and to submit data for consideration by the panel,” said Fleming.
Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats would take back provincial authority over this project by withdrawing from the federal government's joint review process and setting up a “made in B.C.” review that would reassert B.C.’s control over the decision and ensure the voices of citizens, businesses, First Nations and communities are properly heard.