LETTER: Aboriginal groups will have final say on Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project

Only way for Northern Gateway to be a safe pipeline is with transparency, trust, co-operation and investment among all stakeholders

Indigenous people will have final say on pipeline

Rigorous construction standards and management of any pipeline is a must. The assumption that there will be failures is also a must. A standing capacity to address major issues is a must.

More importantly, my experience tells me that the only way for the Northern Gateway to be a safe pipeline is with transparency, trust, co-operation and investment among all  stakeholders. Chief among the Northern Gateway’s stakeholders are the indigenous people of B.C.

If the indigenous people of B.C. can be shown that the Northern Gateway pipeline is safe, economically valuable to them, and in their long term interest, then there is sufficient evidence for me to believe the pipeline can be built and operated safely.

Conversely, if the indigenous people say in the end, ‘No’ then there is likely not enough management transparency to build a safe pipeline.

Notwithstanding what I know about economics, incident management, and project management, the bottom-line for the fate of the Northern Gateway currently is – and should be – the judgment of the indigenous people of B.C.  I stand with their “nay” or their “yah.”

Transparency and trust among all stakeholders is the most critical litmus test of the safety of any major project.

Eugene Parks

Victoria

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