The recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling should give pause to Enbridge to consider that Port of Prince Rupert as a viable alternative of its plan to build two pipelines from Bruderheim, northeast of Edmonton, to Kitimat, B.C.
Certainly the ruling strengthens the hand of the many small native bands that fish the tributaries of Douglas Channel, the channel itself, and the many shoals and gravel beds that contain many types of shellfish that First Nations have harvested for eons. Even the bands that inhabit the Kitimat route in the B.C. Interior will now have arguable standing with respect to the current pipeline route as a result.
Kitimat, which lies at the northwest end of the 140-kilometre Douglas Channel, presents many ecological challenges as well.
The viable alternative is the Port of Prince Rupert.
The Enbridge proposal involves two pipelines. One to carry diluted bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat and another to bring hydrocarbon liquids from refineries in Asia back to Alberta to dilute bitumen. I suggest that we take steps to eliminate the need for this extra pipeline by requiring that the Alberta bitumen be upgraded here in Alberta sufficiently for pipeline movement and even have with discussion with the B.C. government about establishing a refinery in Prince Rupert. That gives B.C. a share in the process and puts men and women to work in Prince Rupert.
Alberta is proceeding with a major upgrader and refinery in Sturgeon County just north of Edmonton. This refinery will produce high-quality diesel, which is in much demand in Asia, and this product could also be shipped to Prince Rupert. What a great opportunity to ship this product through the Gateway pipeline..
This proposal demands serious consideration by all involved because the net result is jobs for Albertans and B.C. residents. We cannot afford to continue to rely on our relatively small domestic market and the U.S. market to absorb our production from the Alberta oilsands. We will utilize the Port of Prince Rupert with direct access to the Pacific Ocean and avoid the risk of polluting not only the Douglas Channel, but also the very sensitive island area at the mouth of the channel.