Big Risk, Little Reward: BC Wants To Renegotiate On Northern Gateway Pipeline

B.C. Premier Christy Clark has declared that it is unreasonable for her province to take on a majority of the risk involved with the planned Northern Gateway Pipeline and only getting back eight percent of the revenue.

B.C’s Environment Minister Terry Lake said the province would be facing 100 percent of the marine risk with tanker traffic and 58 percent of the land risk of the pipeline. His concern comes after three recent spills involving Alberta pipelines. Of course, Lake did not specify how much compensation the province would need to get to accept the risk.

“We want to absolutely minimize the risk but also we want a fair share of the benefits for our province to be a partner,” he told reporters.

Though the project is the subject of hearings at the moment, Enbridge is waiting only on federal approval. However, Lake points out that dozens of permits from the B.C. government are still pending.

Joe Oliver, the Natural Resources Minister who declared that environmentalist “radicals” were taking over the federal hearing, responded to the comments by saying that no project will go ahead if it doesn’t meet with the “rigorous” federal environmental standards.

On the Alberta side, the Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Cal Dallas, declared that his province doesn’t expect to benefit from other provinces’ natural resources, so it doesn’t make sense to compensate British Columbia:

“We don’t have any history of sharing in uranium in Saskatchewan or the vast mining resources that exist in Ontario and Quebec and certainly with respect to forestry products and the like that move from west to east from British Columbia so the answer is we have a system in place, it’s worked well,” he told reporters.

Of course, these resources don’t general include the type of out of province risk that building and maintaining a pipeline does.

Related Stories:

Enbridge May Be Unprepared For Spill Clean Up

Harper Government’s War On Environmentalists

Redford Defends Oil Sands As Oil Spill Gets Cleaned Up

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson4 years ago


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson4 years ago


Christina Crawford

Um...I meant Province...ha ha ha

Christina Crawford

I think Ms. Clark is forgetting that the people who live in BC don't give a damn about how much money is involved, we don't want a pipeline going through our Provence! Period! Zero risk.....done

Michael O.
Michael O4 years ago

This is nothing more than election posturing on the part of Christy Clark. She knows she's in trouble and wants to be seen as the defender of B.C. economic interests, hoping to score some votes. I'm sure Harper's lapdogs will soon be attacking her as a "radical" as well.

By the way, Cal Dallas needs a bit of a history lesson. There's nothing preventing natural resources from crossing inter-provincial boundaries if they're doing so by road or rail. But if you're transporting them by means of another type of infrastructure, Alberta might be in for a rude surprise.

During the 1960's, Newfoundland wanted to export electric power from its Churchill Falls hydroelectric installation, but in order to do so, had to send it through power lines on Quebec territory. Quebec knew they held all the cards and negotiated a long term contract (which is still in effect today) in which Newfoundland sells its power to Quebec at ridiculously low rates. I don't see why B.C. couldn't prevent a pipeline from being built unless Alberta caves in to their demands. However, it would create a lot of animosity between the two provinces - there is still a great deal of bitterness in Newfoundland over the Churchill Falls deal.

Linda Rust
Past Member 4 years ago

Anything that keeps this pipeline from being built is a good thing. Even if it's for the wrong reasons, like a lack of monetary incentive instead of from a desire to protect the environment.
The longer this thing drags out, the less likely it is that it will ever happen at all. Still, it would be much better if some of these government leaders would 'just say no'!

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch4 years ago

Green energy is the ONLY type we should fund.

Michael O.
Michael O4 years ago

"Ethical Oil" is nothing more than a public relations smokescreen. Oil extracted on Canadian soil is no less polluting than oil extracted from Saudi Arabian soil. "Ethics" do not magically cleanse oil of its intrinsic filthiness. "Ethics" will not reduce the amount of pollutants that refined oil products emit when they are burned. The laws of physics and chemistry are not affected by "ethics".

Tobacco is grown on Canadian soil as well. Perhaps we should start marketing Export A, Du Maurier, and Peter Jackson as "ethical" cigarettes. Why worry about lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, strokes, etc. when you've got "ethics" on your side?

Ryan Z.
Past Member 4 years ago

I don't live in BC -- but every time I hear Christy Clark I can't help but think I'm listening to a through-and-through (Harperite) Conservative.
Anyone I do talk to in BC say the NDP will get in next time around which means no pipeline.

It is funny when the federal government talks about these "radical" environmentalists being funded by "foreign interests" -- they seem to ignore all the foreign owned oil companies.
Also, what about ""Ethical"" oil?
Anyone remember this interview where the ethical oil woman couldn't give a straight answer?

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P4 years ago

no more pipelines, we don't need more oil spills