First Nation Chief Stands Her Ground Against Proposed Enbridge Oil Sands Pipeline

Incredible piece on Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saikuz First Nation and her deep opposition to Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in the Financial Post today.

Congratulations to Claudia Cattaneo for writing such an in-depth piece and for bringing an important and often unheard voice to the public sphere.

Quotes are highlighted below.

Comparison to ill-fated Mackenzie pipeline which had fewer hurdles:

Her concerns are a measure of the challenges and complexities facing Northern Gateway: They range from the size and determination of the opposition, to the potential for legal challenges, to the risk of significant cost increases and delays to its ambitious schedule.

Indeed, the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, a comparable project in many respects that was approved by regulators in December after four decades of pushback, seems straight forward in comparison.

Legal risk in British Columbia where First Nations land is unceded:

“There are so many impacted nations who are resolutely opposed to this that the legal risk to this project cannot be overestimated,” Mr. Patterson (West Coast Environmental Law) said. “Any one of those nations, or a combination of them, can bring legal challenges to this process at any stage.”

Speculation that project could be pulled quickly if challenges appear insurmountable:

Whether that means it has a better chance of succeeding because proponents will do whatever it takes to push it through, including even greater incentives, or falls apart because the challenges are insurmountable, remains unclear.

Ms. Crossman knows one thing for sure: “The oil and gas industry can turn on a dime. If it isn’t going anywhere, they pull it and it’s gone.”