B.C. New Democrats are calling on Premier Christy Clark to act to protect B.C.’s economy and environment and stop the Enbridge pipeline from proceeding.

“Throughout the review process, British Columbians demonstrated their overwhelming opposition to the Enbridge pipeline, including the B.C. government’s own submission to the panel,” said B.C. New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix.  “The Premier must match her actions to her words and tell Prime Minister Harper that B.C. opposes the Enbridge pipeline and will take the actions necessary to ensure it does not proceed.”

“Time after time, Premier Clark and the Liberals have undermined their own ability to stand up for B.C.’s economy and environment. The Liberals gave away decision-making power to Ottawa in the first place and passed on every opportunity to take it back. They missed the deadline to provide evidence to the hearings.

“Now, Premier Clark has very limited capacity to act, but act she must.”

New Democrat Environment Critic Spencer Chandra Herbert noted that on September 25, the B.C. Liberal’s own deputy minister of the environment said, “I have to be entirely honest in saying, you know, spills unfortunately are going to happen.”

“We know that if the Enbridge pipeline is allowed to go forward that it will just be a matter of time before there is a major spill that devastates our marine environment and the cultural traditions, jobs and communities that rely on a healthy ocean,” said Chandra Herbert. “We’ve seen the data, the technology simply doesn’t exist to recover diluted bitumen from our environment if one of these tankers, which are many times larger than the Exxon Valdez, runs aground or sinks.”

Chandra Herbert noted that the B.C. Liberal decision to sign away B.C.’s right to say no to risky oil pipelines and tankers will make it more difficult to stop the project.

“The B.C. Liberals have put the economy and the environment of the coast at risk by signing over control of these projects to Ottawa,” said Chandra Herbert. “If they remain silent, they will simply prove that their five conditions were nothing but a ploy meant to shield them from bad press about an unpopular project in the lead up to an election.”

The federal cabinet has 180 days to make a final decision on the project.