Nathan Cullen stands up for BC on eve of Northern Gateway decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 JUNE 2014

OTTAWA – On the eve of the federal government decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, and in light of recent polls which estimate British Columbians oppose the project at a rate of two-to-one, MP Nathan Cullen delivered a challenge to BC Conservative MPs in the House of Commons: stand up for British Columbia and tell the federal cabinet say no to Northern Gateway.

Below is the text of his exchange in the House with Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford. Video of the exchange is available here.

Contact: Hugh Pouliot / nathan.cullen.a1@parl.gc.ca / 613-993-8662

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is just 24 hours until Conservatives have the chance to make a decision on Enbridge northern gateway, 24 hours for 21 B.C. Conservatives to decide who they really work for. On this side, we believe in working for British Columbians; on that side, it is the oil lobby. On this side, we respect first nations; on that side, they try to bully first nations. On this side, we believe in value-added jobs; on that side, they cannot ship them out fast enough.

With just 24 hours left to go, let us see who B.C. Conservatives really work for.

Hon. Greg Rickford (Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we have been clear that projects will only proceed if they are safe for Canadians and safe for the environment. We are proud of the action we have taken to ensure Canada has a world-class regulatory framework and a means for the safest form of transportation for our energy products. Our government is currently reviewing the independent Joint Review Panel prior to making any decisions on this project.

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, they claim they believe in science, but it was the Conservatives who gutted the Fisheries Act, it was Conservatives who wiped the Environmental Assessment Act, and it is Conservatives who muzzle their own scientists from telling Canadians the truth. Enbridge northern gateway represents that rare Holy Trinity of bad ideas. Environmentally, it is a disaster waiting to happen. Economically, it is a sellout of good Canadians jobs, and politically, it is a nightmare for a tired, out-of-date, arrogant government that just cannot listen to the people who put it here.

Finally, will B.C. Conservatives stand up for British Columbians and reject this bad proposal?

Hon. Greg Rickford (Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I said, there is a process that is currently under way. The joint panel has provided the government its recommendation and we are carefully considering it prior to making any decision on this project. Once again, projects will only be approved if they are safe for Canadians and safe for the environment.