Canadian First Nations oppose Enbridge

July 31, 2012 at 6:05 AM
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VICTORIA, British Columbia, July 31 (UPI) -- Aboriginal communities in British Colombia said the provincial premier didn't go far enough with her demands on pipeline company Enbridge.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark expressed reservation over pipeline projects planned through the province.

The provincial government stressed the need for "world-leading" oil spill response systems, respect for aboriginal rights and a stake in the economic benefits that represents the nature of the risk to British Columbia.

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge aims to build its Northern Gateway pipeline from tar sand projects in Alberta province to ports along the west coast. Early this year, an alliance of First Nations arrived in Toronto on a leg of their so-called Freedom Train to protest the annual shareholder meeting for Enbridge.

Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia India Chiefs, was quoted by The Globe and Mail newspaper as saying First Nations were prepared "to go to the wall" against Enbridge.

"There is absolutely no way we will tolerate a project that would violate the environmental integrity of our traditional territories along the pipeline route and along the B.C. coast," he said.

He called on Clark to object to Northern Gateway.

A series of pipeline releases in Canada and two spills in the U.S. Midwest have raised concerns over pipelines carrying Alberta crude.

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