Jun 17, 2014

By Bob Komsic

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Ottawa’s giving conditional approval to Enbridge’s $6.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline between the Alberta oilsands and B.C. coast.

In December, a joint federal review panel recommended approval with 209 conditions.

Today’s decision, which followed the close of the stock markets, is contingent on Enbridge satisfying all of the conditions as well as holding more consultations with affected aboriginal communities.

The project, which would move an estimated 525,000 barrels of petroleum products a day, faces legal challenges from First Nations and environment groups, including Nature Canada and BC Nature.

”It is most disconcerting that the federal government has chosen to gloss over the risk of oil spills and the environmental harm that such spills would cause,” said the interim executive director of Nature Canada.

”The expert evidence before the Panel was that there is one in four chance that a pipeline has a major spill in its lifespan – those are worse odds than playing Russian roulette.”

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