Association Chair says Ignatieff wants to "close the door on economic diversification and growth opportunities for this region"
PRINCE GEORGE, BC, June 23 /CNW/ - "Michael Ignatieff clearly has no regard for the people of northern BC or their best interests, and he has effectively closed the door on much-needed economic diversification and growth opportunities for this region", said Colin Kinsley, Chair of the Northern Gateway Alliance.
Kinsley was reacting to Monday's announcement that the federal Liberals under Michael Ignatieff would, if elected, prevent crude oil tanker traffic to and from the Port of Kitimat.
"Mr. Ignatieff has elected to vote against the North, against much-needed jobs and against equal opportunities for the people of Northern British Columbia and Alberta," said Kinsley. "By targeting the Port of Kitimat with a proposed marine transportation ban, the Liberals are saying it is ok for the Ports of Vancouver, Quebec City, and eastern Canadian ports to reap the benefits of marine trade and commerce, but not for Kitimat and other northern communities. His proposed moratorium on tanker traffic using the Port of Kitimat is nothing more than politicking for Liberal votes in the Lower Mainland and urban Canada at the expense of the new jobs and investment that are so needed in BC's northern communities."
Kinsley, a former mayor of Prince George, is Chair of the Northern Gateway Alliance, a community coalition established to support the regulatory review of the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. The Alliance provides an opportunity for people in corridor communities and elsewhere to share information about the project, the regulatory review process and how people can participate in the review process. The Alliance is guided by a Board of Directors made up of people from corridor communities.
The Northern Gateway Alliance also pointed out that, contrary to the Liberal policy statement, there is no moratorium on oil tankers entering BC ports. Kinsley references an August 2005 letter from the Liberal then-Minister of Transport that emphasized that fact. Oil tankers enter today at the Port of Vancouver and at Kitimat as well, and have done so for decades. In 2009, Canada safely exported approximately 27 million barrels by tanker from Vancouver and safely delivered approximately 82 million barrels by tanker to Quebec City, approximately 28 million barrels to Halifax and approximately 89 million barrels to St. John. An additional 30 million barrels of petroleum products were also shipped through the Port of Vancouver, either for local consumption or transported up the B.C. coast to numerous ports to serve the needs of industry and the general public.
Kinsley noted that the proposed Northern Gateway Project will be a model of world-class safety and environmental standards. "In addition to jobs and investment in BC's northern communities, Enbridge's proposed pipeline project will provide a net benefit to Canada, open a secondary market for Canada's oil export trade with emerging Asian markets, and strengthen the nation's position as a global energy producer," said Kinsley.
To learn more visit www.northerngatewayalliance.ca. To learn more about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project visit www.northerngateway.ca
SOURCE Northern Gateway
For further information: For further information: Colin Kinsley, Chair, Northern Gateway Alliance, Phone: 250-561-0663