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Environmental groups opposing Northern Gateway approval

The federal government has given the green light to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline but environmental groups aren’t giving up. In fact, they’re just getting started.

Enbridge will have to meet all of the 209 conditions recommended by the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel. Brian Falconer from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation says their judicial review of those conditions will now go ahead in court.

Falconer says there’s a number of roadblocks facing Northern Gateway, including the five conditions imposed by the provincial government. That includes consultations with First Nations, and Coastal First Nations are vowing never to allow oil tankers in their territorial waters.

That’s the same message coming from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, which says they’re going to court united against the project.

Christianne Wilhelmson, the Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance, says people in the province are not going to accept the risk posed by the pipeline.

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Wilhelmson says while the fight against Northern Gateway continues, it will be important not to lose sight of another pipeline project threatening BC’s coast. She says the Kinder Morgan pipeline would also be detrimental, and there may be increased pressure for the government to approve it if Enbridge’s project is blocked.

A large rally against the approval of Northern Gateway took over downtown Vancouver on Tuesday evening, and some First Nations are already planning a blockade of Douglas Channel near Kitimat on Friday as a sign of opposition.

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