A First Nations group is hoping to turn the tables on Northern Gateway's latest ad campaign.
Coastal First Nations released a YouTube video on Tuesday which it made in response to a series of yet-to-be-aired television ads produced by Northern Gateway.
The video, titled Koda and the Orca, was made after Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt said his group received a leaked copy of a script for an upcoming Northern Gateway ad which was to feature Enbridge executive vice-president for western access Janet Holder and a whale.
The Coastal First Nations video reply features a young aboriginal girl named Koda and her experience interacting with whales as her family goes about their daily lives.
"She's out there seeing bears and whales - whether they're orcas, or humpbacks or fin whales - she's out there food gathering and having a real personal relationship with whales," Sterritt said.
"Rather than being a 10-hour drive from the coast, she actually is there."
Coastal First Nations has purchased advertising time and expects to have its video on the air next week.
Northern Gateway spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht said the upcoming series of television ads his company is releasing next week won't feature anything specifically about Janet Holder and whales.
"The ad that I think they're trying to respond to is not actually an ad," Giesbrecht said. "It's never been one. The whole orca theme, that was part of an early consideration... that was one that was not forwarded for further consideration."
Northern Gateway is seeking to build twin oil and condensate pipelines from northern Alberta to a purpose-designed export terminal in Kitimat. The $6.5 billion project is currently undergoing an environmental review with a recommendation by a National Energy Board Joint Review Panel expected at the end of the year.
The Prince George-based pipeline company launched a new set of print and radio ads last month with television ads to follow, many centred around Holder. Sterritt said by changing the focus to one of the company's senior executives, Northern Gateway is running from the record of parent company Enbridge.
"I think they've finally realized that nobody has any use for Enbridge and they're trying to re-characterize this pipeline as Janet Holder's pipeline as opposed to Enbridge's," he said.
Giesbrecht countered that Northern Gateway's campaign is part of an outreach effort by the company which also includes an ongoing tour by Holder to meet with community groups across the province.
"I think we've been very transparent and open right from the beginning on our desire to not only meet the five conditions the province has put forward but to engage in conversation with British Columbians," Giesbrecht said.
"This is part of that conversation that we want to have with British Columbians and hear their concerns and answer their questions."