Notes From The Field: the monthly e-mail update from Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Final argument - but not the last word

Dr. Paul Paquet - Raincoast Senior Scientist

Earlier this month we submitted our final written and oral arguments to the federal Joint Review Panel (JRP) for the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal; the culmination of three intense years of detailed analysis, volumes of technical documents, conference calls and cross examinations. Our efforts have clearly demonstrated the flaws in Enbridge's assessment to the panel, the media, the general public and you, our supporters who help make this work possible.

Throughout the JRP process we exposed Enbridge's underestimation and mischaracterization of the risk of oil spills on BC's coast. We have shown that the Northern Gateway application is incomplete, lacking adequate assessments of whales, salmon, marine birds, acoustic impacts and vessel strikes. Overall, the assessments are characterized by a paucity of data combined with poor methodology - critical flaws that undermine the information's purpose and credibility as a basis for decision-making. The onus is now on the panel to reject the proposal.

Although the weight of evidence is in our favour, federal politics are not. The C-38 omnibus bill gutted key environmental legislation and the federal government gave itself,  not the National Energy Board, the final say on the Enbridge proposal. Knowing this, it's critical that over the coming months Raincoast keeps the issue in the public mind and media and to do that we need your continued support.

With Kinder Morgan planning a tar sands pipeline and oil tanker submission of their own (Trans Mountain expansion) we are also preparing to begin the onerous task of reviewing another environmental and socio-economic assessment at the same time as continuing our work on the Enbridge file.  

Both these pipeline proposals, and others, are the result of a headlong rush to exploit the tar sands despite the local, national and international environmental impact. Ultimately, the goal of Raincoast's oil-free coast campaign is the development of a truly sustainable energy strategy for Canada, and Canadians, that considers the purported economic benefit in the light of true social and environmental costs.

We are speaking passionately on behalf of the land, waters and wildlife of coastal BC. While we have submitted our final argument on the Enbridge proposal, you can be assured this is not the last word. Please consider a donation to support our work.


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Canada Helps


There is no place like home

This thought has special significance to the wildlife and residents of our coast - it is their home and we need to protect it.


Coming up for air

The Exxon Valdez didn't just teach the oil industry to take their name off vessels - it has taught us that some species may never fully recover from a spill, killer whales are pertinent example. 

Raincoast Conservation Foundation PO Box 2429 Sidney, BC, Canada V8L 3Y3 Tel: (250) 655-1229

Photo Credits:

Ian Jansma, Nathan DeBruyn

Raincoast's partners in the Northern Gateway JRP process include outstanding legal representation by Ecojustice and our hard-working  coalition partners Living Oceans Society and Forest Ethics.

About Raincoast


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A walk on the beach? Our current work is assessing how an oil spill would affect recreation and tourism across the Salish Sea.

The Northern Gateway decision is now in the hands of the JRP. The evidence and community perspective are clear. Or is the outcome a forgone conclusion?

Our evidence to the Enbridge panel includes over five years and 14,000 km of at-sea marine mammal and marine bird surveys.

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