Posted on March 21, 2013 (updated: June 20, 2019)

Can Canadians trust Enbridge? Questioning at hearings looks at past mistakes and future risks.

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Joint Review Panel hearings on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal continued today in Prince George on pipeline construction and routing. Ecojustice, representing ForestEthics Advocacy, focused its cross-examination on construction impacts to wild salmon watersheds and the proposed construction through the coastal mountains at the Clore tunnel.

The Enbridge panel of experts repeatedly stated that their proposal was “preliminary” and that they could better respond later once their project was approved and they undertook “more detailed engineering.”

“Essentially Enbridge responds repeatedly, ‘trust us.’ This is from the same company who will self-inspect its pipelines and who has faced dozens of construction infractions in the past,” said Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics Advocacy.

After bringing up Enbridge’s infractions over 22 months constructing a pipeline in Wisconsin, which resulted in a $1.1 million fine, Ecojustice lawyer Tim Leadem asked Enbridge whether the company could be trusted to do no harm to Canada’s wetlands, rivers and endangered species.

“You’re obviously proposing something to the people of Canada that’s going to be built and may have the potential … during the construction phase to significantly affect ecosystems and habitat of wild species that Canadians tend to value,” asked Leadem. “We see incidents such as what happened in Wisconsin. Can you really ensure the people of Canada that your company can be trusted to do this job?”

Enbridge’s next set of experts to be cross-examined will focus on pipeline operations, including oil spills.

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