B.C.’s NDP Leader Adrian Dix says if his party is elected next year, it would pursue a made-in-B.C. environmental review of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline.
Dix, who has openly opposed the $5.5-billion project, said it would pull out of the federally-led National Energy Board joint review panel and insists a provincial assessment would ensure that B.C.’s voice is heard on the issue.
“If we do nothing, then the decision of the B.C. government will be made by (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper,” Dix told reporters Wednesday. “I don’t think that’s acceptable to British Columbians. I think (British Columbians) want people in B.C. to have a voice in the process and we intend to provide that.”
He said under an “equivalency agreement” signed by the provincial and the federal governments in 2010, either party can withdraw from the review process with 30 days notice.
His administration, he added, would send that notice within a week of taking office.
Dix said Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals have signed away the province’s right to review the project and even accused her government of hiding evidence from the review.
Last month, Clark and Environment Minister Terry Lake announced five minimum requirements that must be met before B.C. will consider the construction and operation of heavy oil pipelines from Alberta’soil sands to Kitimat.