Put question of pipeline to B.C. voters in 2013

A simple question — Are you in favour of the Enbridge pipeline proposal?

Perhaps Premier Christy Clark sees a battle with Alberta — over revenue from allowing the Enbridge pipeline to use B.C. to link Alberta oil with tankers on the Pacific Ocean — as the last hope to rally voters in time for the spring 2013 election campaign.

It stands to reason, since the B.C. NDP has staked the opposed-to-pipeline position and the B.C. Conservatives have claimed the support-with-conditions spot.

However, by demanding that B.C. receive oil royalties from profits made from what flows through the pipeline, Clark is simply catering to those who already support the Enbridge proposal.

Those opposed — and they include First Nations along the proposed route from Alberta to Kitimat — have said loud and clear it is not about money, but about inevitable environmental damage.

Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit political executive summed it up in a scathing press release of July 24, when he said the Clark B.C. Liberal government has missed the mark, stressing “B.C. First Nations’ traditional territories and pristine environment are not for sale.”

John reminded Clark of the Supreme Court of Canada’s stance that there is a legal requirement for governments to “consult and accommodate” First Nations regarding any and all land and resource development initiatives in their respective territories.

If First Nations cannot be convinced to allow a pipeline to be constructed through their territories — with or without scads of cash — the pipeline simply will not come to be.

With Clark’s demand having been rejected by Alberta Premier Alison Redford, with First Nations still on the sidelines and with strong opposition among the public, perhaps it would be wise for Clark to add a non-binding referendum question to the May 14, 2013 general election ballot.

A simple question — Are you in favour of the Enbridge pipeline proposal? — could produce results that tell the government of the day exactly which direction it should travel on this pipeline proposal.

– Kamloops This Week

 

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