Cullen urges feds to come clean on Enbridge as minister mulls delaying decision



OTTAWA – Suggestions by Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford today that the government may delay a final decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project are irresponsible and can only further inflame an already overheated political environment, says Opposition Finance Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley).

“Here we have another senior federal minister apparently making policy on the fly outside of our borders on an issue of huge significance not only to my constituents but to all Canadians,” Cullen said this afternoon.

The Financial Post newspaper is reporting today that Rickford suggested at an energy conference in New York his government may not meet the June 17 deadline to decide what to do with the National Energy Board’s 209-condition recommendation regarding Enbridge.  Rickford is quoted as saying the government may require more time as it undertakes “careful considerations” of the Enbridge Joint Review Panel’s “extensive” report.

“The Conservatives have had six months to carefully consider the JRP report,” Cullen noted.  “They know how regulatory and political uncertainty harms the investment climate, especially around megaprojects.

“Delaying won’t make this bad project any better. The government should end the uncertainty now for this project and for the other good projects that communities in BC actually want, and say no to Northern Gateway.”

Cullen says Conservatives have tried to ignore the scientific, economic and environmental arguments against this project, but are now looking at the electoral math and reconsidering.

Recent polls put opposition to Northern Gateway among British Columbians at 67%.  Even more telling is that 1 in 5 British Columbians who voted Conservative in 2011 have said they will change their vote if the Conservatives approve the project.

“The Conservatives are feeling the pressure, and perhaps realizing their belligerence on one bad pipeline could jeopardize other good investments proposed for BC,” Cullen said.

“The NDP has known for eight years that Enbridge poses unacceptable risks for BC’s communities, economy and environment; it’s time the Conservatives accept these truths.”

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Contact: Shelley Browne,; 250-877-4140