In the 1970's Justice Thomas Berger was of the opinion that the MacKenzie Delta pipeline project should be delayed until the Aboriginal people living in the area had their land claims completed, thereby giving them actual power and ownership when considering this project. Mr. Berger is publicly against the proposed Enbridge pipeline.
It is now 2010 and although our premier has stated that the First Nations people will be consulted regarding the Enbridge proposal, their status re power and ownership is still unresolved. And I notice that Dr. Joseph Gosnell, leader of the Nisga'a, has publicly come out against this project. Considering Dr. Gosnell's intimate knowledge of the consultation process perhaps his is a voice worth listening to.
Despite Enbridge's protests to the contrary they are not able to guarantee environmental disasters will not nor can not happen. And nobody truthfully could. Following the present court case in Alberta regarding the cruel deaths of hundreds upon hundreds of birds in the tar sands project, I was struck by the oil company's refusal to accept responsibility. Not to mention their lawyer's protest that using photos of birds struggling to escape a slow and terrible death in oil-soaked water was an unfair tactic by the prosecution.
I don't know how one calculates the worth of jobs versus the risk of environmental destruction of one of Canada's most beautiful and pristine provinces. But from what evidence is available it would seem that once the initial construction is finished there will be minimum jobs available and no guarantee that they will be given to B.C. residents.
Unlike the lasting legacy of building a railroad which justified tearing up a landscape in order to unify a country, what exactly will be the legacy of this pipeline? Alberta and the various oil concerns will certainly gain great profits while the Asian buyers and investors will also profit. British Columbians who don't own shares in any of these concerns might see temporary employment in the short term and perhaps tragic environmental damage in the long term.
When the negatives appear to outweigh the positives then I am puzzled as to why this province is content to leave the decision process to federal bodies who, we are told, never say "no" to resource projects.
I'm with Thomas Berger, Joseph Gosnell, Debora Munoz, and the many others who say "no".