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Developments in Enbridge

Developments in Enbridge

by Nicole Halseth, News Editor 

The Northern Gateway’s proposed oil pipeline project continues to cause debate this month.

The First Nations group, Coastal First Nations, recently released a YouTube video in response to a series of Northern Gateway’s television ads that have not yet been aired. The aim of this video is to compete with Northern Gateway’s newest ad campaign.

This video has been titled Koda and the Orca, which follows a young First Nations girl and her interactions with the whales she encounters in her daily life. The focus is meant to be on the personal nature of her interactions with these creatures. According to an article on the Prince George Citizen website, executive director for the video, Art Sterritt, describes that “she’s out there seeing bears and whales – whether they’re orcas, or humpbacks or fin whales – she’s out there food gathering and having a real personal relationship with whales,” and “rather than being a 10-hour drive from the coast, she actually is there.” This video is set to be aired later this month.

The Coastal First Nations group received a copy of the script for the upcoming Northern Gateway ad which was leaked. In this new ad, Janet Holder, Enbridge executive vice-president for western access, was to be featured with a whale.

You can see where the comparison comes in.

According to Northern Gateway spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht, Northern Gateway’s newest television ad campaign, also set to be released later this month, will not feature anything specifically about Janet Holder and whales. In an article in the Prince George Citizen, Giesbrecht states “the ad that I think they’re trying to respond to is not actually an ad…it’s never been one. The whole orca theme, that was part of an early consideration… that was one that was not forwarded for further consideration.” In the article, Sterritt argues that Northern Gateway is trying to run from the negative image of Enbridge by shifting the focus to one of the company’s senior executives. However, Giesbrecht states that the purpose of the campaign is to reach out to the community, hear their concerns, and answer their questions.

Northern Gateway is a company based in Prince George, which operates under its parent company, Enbridge. For some time, Northern Gateway has been attempting to build oil and condensate pipelines from northern Alberta, through northern British Columbia, to a specifically designed terminal in Kitimat for export. The project will supposedly cost around $6.5 billion dollars. Currently, the project is undergoing an environmental review, undertaken by the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel. This panel is set to issue an environmental recommendation in regards to the pipelines at the end of the year.

This ad competition is merely the latest in the dispute around this subject. Should the pipeline be approved, many people, communities, and ecosystems will be affected by the immediate and potential negative consequences. However, the economic benefits of the project are predicted to be substantial. This has caused disagreement and controversy, at times very heated, from both sides of the debate. As students and citizens of northern British Columbia, this debate will affect you in some way in the near future, if it has not already. Where do you stand? Let us know: @OvertheEdgeNewspaper or Over the Edge Newspaper on Facebook