NORTHERN GATEWAY: When the going gets tough, the tough start writing letters

If you are a supporter of economic opportunity, job creation, benefit sharing with communities, and new markets for Canadian energy, here’s your opportunity to write to the National Energy Board and reiterate the reasons for why the pipeline should go ahead.

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline is one of three pipeline projects with the shared focus of getting Canadian oil to tidewater.

The quest for market access for Canadian petroleum resources via pipeline is one that is broadly accepted among our elected leaders. Notwithstanding a variety of efforts that would stifle national prosperity, we recognize that Canada has the competencies to carry out this work as well as, or better than, any other nation. 

In a competitive world market, where our biggest trading partner (the United States) is inching away from us and in the direction of energy self-sufficiency, getting oil from the Alberta oil sands to our global trading partners means tremendous benefit for the struggling Canadian economy.

Supporting a project that creates valuable construction jobs and great family-supporting permanent jobs is important. Canada’s economic wellbeing depends on Canadians making the right calls to create success conditions for our largest export sector to thrive in changing times.

What a strange outcome it would be if Canada is stymied in creating its own energy infrastructure. This would mean buying even more of our oil from foreign countries with appalling environmental and human rights records. We can easily avoid this travesty, however. Building Canadian energy pipelines is clearly the right thing to do, a fact that our most respected environmental groups have recognized.

Recently, we learned about one organized effort to write letters to the National Energy Board against this vital project.  

Bear in mind that the National Energy Board (NEB) has already approved Northern Gateway and granted it the permits it requires. Those permits will soon require renewal. To no one’s surprise, the biggest opponents of our nation’s prosperity are seizing on this as an opportunity to obstruct at all costs, urging supporters “to beat the system and force the board to read your letter.”

Fortunately, the NEB isn’t allowing form letters for this consultation process. Nevertheless, the opponents are urging that letters stress one (erroneous) point: that the federal government is going to ban tankers from Kitimat anyways.

That’s not really true, though.

The terms of the moratorium on tanker traffic, which were raised during the recent federal election and again brought up at the beginning of the term, are still under consultation. The Prime Minister refuses to comment on whether or not the position remains the same.

On the political front, all the signs are pointing to a strong possibility that plans for Northern Gateway won’t be disrupted.

But we can still be of value in helping the deciders stick to their guns.

That's right, we can do some letter writing ourselves!

The NEB will be taking comments that are backed up by physical mail and/or faxes until June 27th. More information on this process is here

If there is a time to stick your oar in the water on a vital issue, this might just be it.

Do you like this?