Despite what one would tend to gather from all of the recent noise and hoopla generated by the anti-pipeline faction in B.C., recent polls have shown that only about 35 per cent of British Columbians are dead set against oil pipelines. The other two-thirds (the silent majority of British Columbians) want to know more before making up their minds.
That’s exactly the same position Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal government have taken on proposed oil pipelines, including the Northern Gateway pipeline project currently undergoing a federal environmental review.
Right from the start, Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberals have made it clear that hearing all the facts, and considering all the potential benefits and risks, before passing judgement on any project is an essential part of the process.
Premier Clark has also made it very clear (and rightfully so) that tough environmental standards would have to be achieved by any oil pipeline project and that meaningful engagement with the affected First Nations communities would need to be clearly demonstrated.
Premier Clark’s position on oil pipelines shows that it’s not just about the money. It’s about meeting key environmental and social objectives which are just as important to the province as meeting key economic and fiscal objectives.
Massimo Mandarino, Vancouver