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British Columbia’s Environment Minister Terry Lake announced Friday that the B.C. government would formally oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

“Northern Gateway has said that they would provide effective spill response in all cases. However, [they] have presented little evidence as to how they will respond… For that reason, our government cannot support the issuance of a certificate for the pipeline as it was presented to the Joint Review Panel.”

Lake announced the policy in advance of the province’s final written submission to the Joint Review Panel currently underway.

“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project… Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.”

The full submission by the B.C. government to the Joint Review Panel can be read here

For years, First Nations have led the fight against the proposed Enbridge pipeline. The Save the Fraser Declaration is evidence of this “wall of opposition” from Indigenous peoples. The Enbridge and Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines proposals were major issues in the recent B.C. election campaign. 

This announcement may come as something of a surprise to Enbridge executives. Also on Friday, the Calgary Herald reported that Enbridge “was heartened by the re-election earlier this month of the Christy Clark Liberals, despite Premier Clark’s insistence the project must meet five conditions before the provincial government would consider supporting Northern Gateway.”

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe is a writer in Vancouver, B.C. He served as's editor from 2012 to 2013 and from 2008 to 2009.