British Columbians have lost confidence in Ottawa’s pipeline approval process.

It’s time for our province to reclaim the powers it signed away to the National Energy Board. It’s time to assert our jurisdiction over crude oil transport through B.C.

“I call on Premier Christy Clark to set up a fair and independent review of Kinder Morgan’s crude oil pipeline and tanker project.”

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If you don’t trust the federal government to deliver a fair decision on Kinder Morgan’s crude oil pipeline and tanker proposal, you’re not alone. Surveys suggest 7 in 10 British Columbians have lost confidence in Ottawa’s pipeline approval process.

The reasons are simple. Without public hearings or cross-examination, pipeline companies get to choose which questions they want to answer. And as the Enbridge experience made clear, the final answer from the federal cabinet is already “yes”.

After the Vancouver Harbour oil spill, Clark was quick to cast blame on the federal government, blasting them for the dismal response and demanding “someone” do a better job of protecting our coast. Sorry, Premier Clark, but we think that person is you.

No one expects the federal government to protect us from the threat of oil spills. It’s time for the Premier to put her money where her mouth is and step up for the people of British Columbia, and that starts with reclaiming the powers B.C. signed away to the National Energy Board.

We’re also seeing what happens when people no longer trust the government to make decisions in the public interest. Blockades on Burnaby Mountain. Court challenges by First Nations and municipalities. Intervenors quitting the Kinder Morgan review in disgust.

The government of B.C. has the power to solve this growing crisis by setting up a fair and independent pipeline review. It's time for Premier Christy Clark to act.

Just think: we could have a process that respected First Nations, municipalities and B.C. citizens. We could have a review that actually informed and engaged the public. And at the end of the day, we could expect a decision in the best interests of the people who live in B.C.

Instead our provincial government signed away its assessment powers to Ottawa. The good news is B.C. can reverse that decision at any time – all it takes is the political will. Quebec has announced its own independent review of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline. We can do the same with Kinder Morgan.

The Union of BC Municipalities, the City of Burnaby and both provincial opposition parties agree. So does the former CEO of BC Hydro, Marc Eliesen: it's time to leave Ottawa's broken system behind. Will you add your name to the growing call for a fair, independent review of Kinder Morgan’s crude oil pipeline and tanker project?

 

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