CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The planned Northern Gateway oil pipeline and west coast tanker traffic present a major threat to Canada's tourism industry, a former official said.
Canadian pipeline company Enbridge plans to build the Northern Gateway pipeline to move about 525,000 barrels of so-called tar sands oil from deposits in Alberta to the port of Kitimat in British Columbia for Asian exports.
Bill Eisenhauer, a former communications director for Tourism British Columbia, told a review panel that oil developments are too much of a risk for the country's west coast.
"It's our country, it's our coast and there are many other less risky and less toxic ways to generate economic growth," he was by The Vancouver Observer as saying. One spill on the country's west coast would be "a big black eye" for the tourism industry.
The University of British Columbia published a report in December that stated spill cleanup costs and economic loss from a major tanker spill off the provincial coast could erase gains from the planned pipeline.
Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told the Postmedia News last week, however, that ensuring the public the Northern Gateway pipeline is safe would go a long way toward its eventual success.
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